How to Help your Child Overcome the Academic Summer Slide
“Summer slide” is the tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains they made in the previous school year. During the summer, the more rigid routines of the school year melt into later bedtimes and play-filled days. As kids enjoy a well-earned break from school days and homework, getting out of practice with academics can put many children at a disadvantage starting the following school year. It’s about balance. We don’t want to pack children’s summer days with workbooks, but we want to keep their academic skills sharp. There are ways to prevent the summer slide while offering your children plenty of time for the joys of summer. We’ll share tips to create flexible learning opportunities that will benefit them when the school bell sounds again!
Summer slide prevention tips
At Best in Class Education Centers, we know how to mix fun with engaging young minds. Here are some of our most helpful tips for children to keep learning and growing over the summer months.
Assist your child in finding books best for their age and reading level. Books that are too simple won’t stretch a child’s language skills or imagination, while texts that are too difficult will disrupt fluency and comprehension. Help your child find books that are somewhere in the middle to spur learning and reading enjoyment.
Remind your child that reading takes many forms. Children often associate reading with chapter books and textbooks, so summer is an excellent time to show them other text formats such as graphic novels, magazines, or e-books. Letting children view literacy as a journey of exploration across different reading roads will encourage them to consider reading as a task they look forward to and choose to engage in.
Remember, you are your child’s reading model. Children with strong reading models tend to have more positive attitudes towards literacy. When you visit the library or bookstore, select a book for yourself. Take time to sit with your child and spend quiet time reading alongside one another. Afterwards, engage in a thoughtful discussion about what they read. What did they like or dislike? Did something surprise them while reading? These conversations will help them engage their critical thinking which are essential in developing strong literacy skills.
Provide access to arts and crafts materials. Learning extends well beyond reading, writing, and math to developing high-level thinking skills that help children make connections between what they learn and the world around them. Art offers young minds the opportunities to develop problem-solving and fine motor skills while creating rich ties to the world.
Pull out the games. Many popular games can help children’s language and math skills. Therefore, dust off the games in the closet that allow children to count money, create strategies, think fast, ask questions, or challenge problem-solving. Make a family game evening for everyone to enjoy these enriching activities. For a list of some great game recommendations, see this blog on our favorite brain games.
Research public summer programs. Libraries and community organizations often offer cost-effective or even free programs for children during the summer. Have your child invite a friend to tag along on a community-based learning adventure.
Using these suggestions, the summer slide doesn’t have to settle in and impede your child’s success when it’s time to return to school. If your child could benefit from additional help with math or reading skills, there’s still plenty of time this summer to make significant progress. Best in Class Education Centers offers effective tutoring and enrichment programs led by caring teachers. Contact us today to see how our high-quality programs can help your child’s intellectual and social growth.