Written by Ms. Linton, Elementary Teacher
As we make our way into the final months of the school year, there have been quite a few requests about how to avoid the ‘Summer Slide.’ Unfortunately, I am not referring to that awesome green slide at the waterpark, but instead the decrease in reading ability or any other academic skill that is neglected over the summer. Recent literature states that students on average lose between 25-30% of their school year during the summer months, which makes for a difficult transition back to school in the fall.
The solution for avoiding the summer slide is to keep learning! Here are a few great ways to keep kids engaged in the learning process over the summer:
- Read the comics! Make reading fun by incorporating it into a daily routine. Have your kids read the comics or a section of the newspaper EVERY morning while you have your coffee.
- Get Cooking! Start making recipes that call for specific amounts of ingredients. Choose to either double or half the recipe if they need extra math practice.
- Acts of Journalism! Maybe your student is interested in blogging or commentating on events throughout the summer. Encourage them to record themselves speaking into a microphone, video or journal/blog site to sum up experiences. Having a thought out plan to create a well-written blog or video will get them thinking about sequence of events. (WordPress.com is a great way to get started.)
- Poolside learning! Make EVERYTHING in the pool a game! (might need guidance from parents)
- Play fox and chicken with OG skills!
- Jump off the ledge with friends spelling sight words and form your body into the letter you say.
- Play HORSE using math facts and spelling rules!
- City Learning!
- Let your child navigate the ballpark, museum, new city, maps, etc. by reading the signs around them to follow directions- let THEM do it!
- Create math problems based on your surroundings (If 2,885 people are at the ballpark and 252 people leave before the 8th inning, how many people are left?) Use probability, multiplication, fractions, etc.
- Do-it-yourself is such a common theme these days and there are SO many amazing things to create! Allow your child to make a DIY video of them re-creating another video or making something themselves.
- Take measurements, do conversions, explain a sequence of events during your video! We would love to see your home videos!
This is just a small list of ideas that can be incorporated into your summer plans. Please discuss the idea of summer learning with your child before you start asking them anything related to academics. Forcing them to think about math and spelling when they are at the ballpark could result in a failed learning experience or argument. Just explain that critical thinking, learning and reviewing is an ongoing process, even during the summer!
Here are some more ideas to try over the summer:
- Family game night- use tokens, notecards and prizes to review skills.
- Go to Barnes & Noble and get lost in books and magazines!
- Have your kids help you plan a trip- get them writing! (Why should we go to Florida over Colorado?)
- Word of the Day! Dictionary.com – Use it 3 different times a day
- Daily forecast at dinner table.
- Have your kids write their own scripts and act out the play.
- Track plant growth with charts and observations.
- Play Sparkle at the dinner table (spelling).
- Write words and math problems in the sand at the beach!
- Set a good example!
Ask your child’s teacher for specific skills you can work on over the summer. These will help your child feel confident when they start back up in August.
Have fun learning right along with your kids and enjoy the summer!