The Summer Slide: What It Is and What You Can Do About It
When most kids think about summer, they imagine popsicles, trips to the beach, and playing with friends. They’ve worked hard the entire school year and deserve time off as a reward for their hard work. Teachers will also enjoy their time out of the classroom. But as the summer closes, they’ll imagine the next school year’s start and the effects of the summer slide on student readiness.
What Is the Summer Slide?
The summer slide isn’t another fun summer activity. Instead, the “summer slide” refers to learning loss that can occur during the long summer break.
Throughout the school year, your child has been gradually stacking new skills and knowledge, one day at a time. By the end of the school year, your child has likely come a long way from where they started! Their reading level is higher, their math skills are stronger, and they’ve learned countless science facts.
But when summer rolls in, children leave school and their daily learning routines behind for two months. Unfortunately, many students lose some of the gains they made during the school year, making it challenging to hit the ground running when school restarts in the fall.
But not all is lost in summer! Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent the summer slide from significantly affecting your child’s academic progress.
How Can I Prevent My Child from Sliding?
Now that you understand the summer slide, you can take steps to minimize or even prevent it. Let’s look at a few ways to bolster learning this summer so that your child retains their grade-level skills.
No matter how old your child is, reading is a fundamental skill, so don’t let your child’s reading skills slip this summer. Instead, make time to take family trips to the library or bookstore. To keep your child engaged in reading, let them choose their own books according to topics and genres that interest them.
Another idea to encourage summer reading is to have a school-aged child read to a younger sibling. Both children will benefit from engaging in literacy activities together. By creating a comfortable reading space with a soft rug, beanbag chairs, or other fun elements, your children will want to settle in with a good book to read together or on their own.
You can also make a reading chart and reward their efforts at the end of the week with a trip to the ice-cream shop or a day at the local indoor trampoline park. The more ways you can encourage your child to read over the summer, the less “sliding” they will do.
Play Educational Games
Many kids love to play video games, especially over the summer, so harness their love of gaming for good. Find games with educational components; this list is a good starting point.
But don’t just stop at video games. Board games are great options for bringing the whole family together and using reading comprehension skills to decipher complicated rules or language-based skills to give clues. Classic games like Life and Monopoly allow children to practice addition, subtraction, and handling money. Other fun options include word puzzles, sudoku, and crosswords.
Need more ideas? One of our past blogs has a great list of math apps to encourage your child to continue learning long after the last school bell has rung.
Enroll in Enrichment
Finally, if your family is seriously dedicated to avoiding the summer slide, one of the best options you can choose is to enroll your child in summer enrichment courses. Although “summer school” sometimes gets a bad rap, there’s no better way to keep your child classroom-ready than keeping them in a classroom—online or in-person.
Online programs are great for busy families. Plenty of programs allow students to meet with their instructor or tutor live, and self-paced courses are also available. But if an in-person option suits your child best, contact a Best in Class Education Center today to learn about our engaging and proven math and English programs. Attending class with us this summer will make your child unstoppable in the fall!