What is “Summer Slide”?
The term “summer slide” is widely known across the education world. Studies show the average student can lose between 1 to 3 months of learning over the summer. In fact, recent studies show that the older a student gets, the greater percentage of learning loss that occurs…as much as 50% of their previous year’s math learning by the summer after 7th grade!
As an educator, keeping my kids learning through the summer is super important to me. At times, we structure our learning and sometimes it is learning in disguise. Here is a list of things to do with your kids to help prevent the “summer slide.” Most of these ideas I’ve tried with my own kids throughout the last 12 summers. Some of them have worked better than others for me, depending on age of kids, vacation schedules and let’s be honest…attitude. These ideas are meant to keep kids’ minds engaged and strong throughout the summer months.
Ways to Prevent “Summer Slide”
- Buy a workbook Costco and Amazon has some good ones for a descent price. Work on a couple pages every day. BrainQuest and Summer Bridge are my 2 favorite I’ve seen.
- Online Education Programs Invest in an online program that your child can log on to for a few minutes each day. Currently, I use IXL and have been happy with it. Price ranges from $10+ per month (you can cancel any time) depending on what subjects you want to include and how many children you want to participate.
- Khan Academy Use Khan Academy for summer math review…it’s free and structures lessons to exact needs based on student assessment.
- School Resources You can also continue to use whatever class websites were used in your child’s classroom. Our school uses Lexia, Freckle.com, Reflex Math, Raz-Kids, and Prodigy. Teachers typically don’t reset the classes until a few weeks before heading back to school.
- READ!!! Read books aloud to your kids. Have your kids read aloud to younger siblings. Take them to the school or city library story time and let them choose their own books to check out/read. Participate in summer reading programs or book challenges to earn prizes.
- “Write” Ideas Give your kids opportunities to write: a summer journal, typing stories on the computer, making books, making slideshows. I loved the summer I had notebooks I shared with my kids and we wrote letters back and forth to each other like pen pals. Check out “mom and me journals” or “communication journals” on Pinterest to find lots of examples.
- Practice Makes Perfect Practice math facts: addition/subtraction and multiplication/division! The faster they can recall basic facts, the more efficiently they can solve harder math problems. Use flash cards, apps on a tablet, or wraps-ups (can purchase on Amazon.)
- Go on field trips Explore local museums, hikes, historical sites, etc.
- Do stem/steam projects There are tons and tons of ideas online or books in the library. Ideas include building kites, making a pool noodle periscope, creating a Nerf obstacle course, discovering new ways to build paper airplanes and making giant bubbles. Or even explore coding online with some of these cool coding sites.
- Themed Weeks On slow weeks plan a “theme” to learn about. Example: Choose a country or culture to learn about, cook a food from that country, and do an art project.
- Google Expeditions App There are also awesome “virtual field trips” online to learn about new places and things. Google’s app called “Expeditions” is a fun way to look at new places using augmented reality (or Virtual Reality if you have a VR viewer). However, I suggest previewing material and downloading the places you want your child exploring instead of just handing the tablet over. It is super cool to look at the Aura Borealis in augmented reality.
- Hobbies Help your child discover a new hobby such as photography, baking, or sewing.
- Meal Preparation Have your child help you plan, shop for and prepare dinner. Not only will they enjoy spending the time with you, they will learn about planning and organization, food budgets, fractions, time management, etc. So many great life and educational skills can be learned through this!
More Summer Ideas
And if you need more summer ideas check out Becca’s post “Summer Bucket List”!