Ever wonder why your child’s homework seems so familiar when they begin a new school year? Or, worse, why your child feels like they’re behind when the school year has just begun? It’s because of the “Summer Slide,” a phenomenon where kids “slide” back intellectually over summer break. According to a study of 500 teachers by them National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), 66 percent “have to spend three to four weeks re-teaching students course material…while 24 percent spend at least five to six weeks”.
While some teachers will assign work from the previous year to allow kids to get back up to speed, others may dive right into the new curriculum. Here are four ways to make sure your child is ready for anything in the fall and avoid the “Summer Slide:”
1. Close To the Heart
Select a book that means something to you and share it with your child. If it’s on their reading level, make your own two-person book club and discuss what you’ve read along the way. If it’s slightly above their reading level, read it to them and chat about the story as you go.
2. Make it Social
Encourage your child to participate in local educational activities with other kids, like a group reading challenge at the library, summer camps with a learning component, or fun workshops, like coding.
3. Artful Incorporation
Children can learn just about anywhere. Create math problems, like how many miles are left on your road trip or how much lunch will cost based on what everyone orders. Bring a plant-identification book on a camping trip. Challenge them to craft a fictional tale based on something you saw at a carnival.
4. Make Screen Time Your Friend
We all love our screen time, and your child is probably no different. If they are begging to make videos in the musical.ly app, or to create a new house in Minecraft, require them to spend time on an educational site or app first, like Kahn Academy, Learning Games for Kids, or a site their teacher recommended.
Keep those brains revving to avoid the “Summer Slide” and have a great summer!