The very word summer brings to my mind mental images of swimming pools, lightning bugs, baseball, and ice cream cones. The smells of suntan lotion and outdoor grills being fired up are almost tangible and are what dreams are made of during the cold months of winter. Schools and academic work are not traditionally what come to mind as one thinks of June and July. Slides should only refer to water parks and backyards. However, increasingly, current and even older, established research, demonstrate what is commonly referred to as the “summer slide”. “Summer slide” refers to the loss of academic gains students have made during the previous school year. These losses are generally cumulative and increase any discrepancy between the learner and his or her peers every year.
Over the last few years, some high profile advocates like former Secretary of Education Duncan and President Obama have brought attention back to the importance of summer learning. Horizon Academy summer school strives to provide a blend of diagnostic, prescriptive instruction with hands-on learning, combined with motivating activities and some FUN and laughter in the midst. We want to use summer more strategically to engage learners and help them avoid or reduce that “summer slide”. To supplement our options, we have suggestions for ways to make some “school stuff” more fun at home during the summer!
-Take a trip to the local library.
-Set up a lemonade stand and help your child calculate change
-Play a math game (a board game or an online game) with your child
-Challenge your child to a new high score on an educational app
-Bake with your child, have them read recipes and calculate measurements
-Read in the morning, when children are used to learning and before the distractions of the day interfere.
-Have a “reading picnic” outside on a blanket
-Have your child keep a summer journal, read it over and give corrections and advice for how to build better sentences