The summer slide is learning loss that happens during the summer when a child goes for an extended period without reading or engaging in learning activities. This can cause children to get behind in school and result in the loss of up to two months of reading and learning achievement. This time adds up, causing them to lose years of learning achievement with each passing summer. The summer slide accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap in high school students.
By engaging with children in simple bite-sized learning activities, parents and caregivers can prevent the summer slide. Learning activities can be as simple as reading a little each day – whether it is a newspaper, TV guide, comic or even listening to audiobooks. Activities may also be more hands-on like a craft or learning a new recipe. Below is a list of activity ideas to prevent the summer slide.
1. Play Games
Learning activities can be as simple as pulling out a board game for the family to play together. Board games can get kids reading, thinking critically and utilizing important math skills.
2. Try a New Recipe
Get kids helping in the kitchen with a fun new recipe. Cooking teaches skills in science, math and reading. They can read the recipe to a parent and learn to measure out ingredients. They may even learn about nutrition and try a new food.
3. Try a Science Experiment
There are a variety of science activities available online. One popular trend is creating slime. The idea of creating their very own slime may bring out the little scientist in your child. Much like trying a new recipe, they will have to read directions and measure out ingredients – teaching them new skills and engaging in reading.
4. Go to a Library Program
Local library programs are free and can be a good way to get children and teens engaged with their peers. The library offers a variety of programs to give parents and kids the opportunity for new and exciting learning experiences in a variety of subject areas. Check out our calendar to see a complete list of upcoming programs.
5. Start a Garden
Gardening is a relaxing activity that not only gets kids learning but could be beneficial to the aesthetics of your home. Gardening requires children to read directions, learn about nature, think critically and even learn responsibility as they develop the habit of caring for their garden.
6. Join the Summer Reading Program & Read Together
By joining the summer reading program children can actively log the time that they read each day – those minutes add up! The prizes children earn for being a part of a summer reading program may motivate them to continue reading all summer long.
Try reading with your child or reading the books they are reading. For preschool age children you may want to read picture books with them, for your elementary age child you may want to read a chapter book together and for your middle school or high school age children you may try engaging in a book discussion about something you are both reading.
Reading aloud together can also be a fun and engaging way to get children reading. Don’t be afraid to act out the characters, showing inflection in your voice as you pretend to be each one. Not only will this boost reading and critical thinking skills, but it will boost their confidence and teach them to be a better public speaker.
There are a variety of ways to get any age child engaged in learning over the summer. Make learning an exciting experience that you and your child share trying something new in the kitchen, start a garden or make time to read together.