Stopping the “Summer Slide”

Summer is all about relaxation, but too much relaxation can have detrimental effects on your young student’s education.

In fact, most students will lose two months of mathematics education over the course of summer break. The loss is 30-40 percent worse for children in low-income families compared to children in high-income families.

Maintaining education over the course of the summer is crucial to kids’ academic success and self- esteem. So how do you combat the “summer slide” without enrolling in summer school? There are many simple fixes to ensure your child maintains their knowledge over the summer so they’re ready to flourish when the new school year begins.

Reading is key. Encourage your child to read as much as possible. Take a trip to your local library or grab a book and sit outside. The stimulation will keep their minds sharp throughout the summer. For a fun challenge, make a reading timeline for them. Start with 10 minutes of reading each day, then increase it to 15, and so on. The time won’t seem as daunting once they’ve started.

Get your kids off the couch. Studies show that kids who are more active tend to do better in school. Sign up for programs such as GoNoodle to get your kids moving this summer, and have fun while doing it.

Enroll your kids in a summer camp. Many local camps are focused on strengthening learning for kids and also help develop social skills. Children can learn a variety of different subjects – enroll them in a camp they prefer so they’re excited to learn.

Foster creativity to nurture their young minds. Set aside time each day to build, paint, draw, make crafts, or write stories. Being able to think creatively helps with problem solving and critical thinking skills. Studies have shown creative activities can also help to decrease stress and foster positive feelings.

Incorporate basic math into daily activities. If your kids are old enough, have them help you measure ingredients when cooking or baking. It will teach them basic fractions and conversion skills. If you have elementary-aged children, have them count items on their plates at meals.

Ask them riddles. Riddles encourage critical thinking and creativity, both of which help in the classroom.

Use educational apps. There are a number of educational apps for kids to play on their tablets. On a rainy day, allow them some screen time to develop their math, reading, science and English skills. If you would prefer your child stay away from electronics, board games can be beneficial for thinking and social skills as well.

Explore a local museum. Whether it’s a hands-on science museum or a historical museum, your little ones can learn through exposure to the very things they learn about all year long – and those that they haven’t been exposed to yet. Museums are a great way to bring learning concepts to life.

Write. Ask your kids to write you a story each week. It can be about anything they want, as long as they’re writing. It will help keep their grammar skills sharp. You could also challenge them to write a novel over the course of the summer and write a chapter for it every two weeks.

Encourage them to make music. Let your child sing, play piano, guitar, or whatever they wish. Music is a great creative outlet and can also help with math skills by recognizing patterns throughout the compositions.

Explore! Go for a walk, a hike or a bike ride around town. Your kids can see various nature scenes – butterflies, flowers, trees, clouds and more – to keep them curious about their world.

Looking for more ways to keep kids busy this summer? Check out these ideas:

Photo credit: John Morgan

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