8 simple things you can to do combat the “summer slide”

Parenting Tips and Strategies
8 simple things you can to do combat the “summer slide”

“Summer slide” is when students lose some of the achievements that they have gained over the previous school year.  This happens when children do not engage in educational activities during the summer months.  Children often fall behind as much as two months!  While the “summer slide” is most prevalent among low-income families, it can occur whenever children are not engaged in educational activities throughout the summer months.

What can YOU do to make sure the summer slide doesn’t affect your child?  Here are several ideas for you to incorporate into your summer plans:

  1. Go to the public library to choose books that interest your child, then spend time reading them. When kids read books that interest them, achievement is usually higher.  Even reading 4-6 books over the summer can prevent the loss of skills.
  2. Let your child see YOU reading. When children see adults in their lives reading, they have a tendency to want to read too.
  3. Check with your local library about their summer reading program. Often, libraries and book stores will offer a free book as a reward for reading during the summer months.
  4. Start a summer journal with your child. They can write about things that interest them or journal about their summer adventures.  You can even write letters or notes back and forth to each other!
  5. Find fun ways to practice math facts. Look for games to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts.
  6. Visit local museums.
  7. Limit screen time. Research has shown that kids over 2 years of age should have no more than 1-2 hours of screen time a day.  This includes computers, television, and any other electronic device your child may use.
  8. Encourage outdoor play. Go to the park, sign your child up for summer sports, or go for family bike rides or walks.

While we often think that the summer slide is only about losing reading skills, kids often lose ground in math as well as decreased physical activity.  If we can keep our children active, both in mind and body, the summer slide will not be a problem for your child.  Hopefully, these hints and tips will prevent your child from experiencing any loss of grade-level skills over the summer months.

*image credit:  KOMU News / flickr creative commons/ link to license

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