Summer Slide! It sounds like a fun and entertaining game children play during the summer. However, this term refers to the academic loss and regression that many children experience during the 8-10 weeks of summer vacation. Even though Summer break is here, that does not mean that children cannot continue learning. “According to National Summer Learning Association, all students experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer months, and most lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills” (Fleming, 2017).
Other great opportunities to engage in learning this summer are through local community resources, including the public library and the recreational facilities. These facilities offer many opportunities to engage students in reading and math activities throughout the summer. These activities are also generally free or have minimal fees associated with them. According to Melissa Taylor’s recent blog on www.readbrightly.com, “Simply ask your children to practice reading, writing, and math throughout their vacation time.” You don’t have to spend long hours doing so but just a few minutes each day will help your children.
- Plan. Develop a routine for your days during the summer to schedule in learning time. I would suggest scheduling your learning time in the morning so kids can get work done first and then play.
- Designate a space. Pick an area in your house where you would like your child to do their work. When you have found the space, set up a calendar and a checklist of the activities that need to be done every day.
- Gather supplies needed. Make a list of what you will need for the summer and make sure you have them. You might need books for math or other studies. You might need different items for crafts. Make sure you have everything you need ahead of time.
- Read. Figure out your child’s reading level and try to stick to books that will either challenge their reading level or at least maintain it. I would suggest having a reading time of 10-20 minutes each day or more. Reading a few books every day will help prevent academic regression.
- Practice specific subjects. How well do your kids know their math? You can practice subtraction and addition with them. Without practice, kids will begin to lose what they previously learned. Repetitive practice of these subjects helps their recall. Purchase workbooks for your child’s grade level and ask them to complete a couple of pages during their learning session in the morning. If you purchase the books, you won’t have to create a curriculum, and it will be the same one they are learning in school.
- Make it fun! Summertime is still a break from school, but you can always keep learning. You can find creative ways to make learning fun. Children love learning through play. Buy some outdoor chalk and have your learning session outside in the driveway. Find some fun, educational songs to sing with your kids. You can take a long walk in the woods and learn about nature. Find something fun to do and figure out a way to learn while doing it.
Children, have a great summer break. Please play safely and keep learning. See you soon.