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How to Prevent the Summer Slide

Summer learning loss results in students forgetting weeks to months of reading and math curricula. Teachers spend weeks making up for the summer slide by reviewing material, instead of progressing to build on grade level knowledge. Some school districts throughout the country have done away with summer break altogether in order to improve academic retention.

However, old habits die hard. Summer vacation arose from the need for children to help their families with farm labor. Like Daylight Savings, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us. But, since we do have summer vacation, by all means enjoy it! Keep these tips in mind to reduce the summer slide effect:

Keep Reading

Summer reading programs have been shown to improve outcomes for students. Phoenix Public Library offers incentives for summer reading. Reading with younger children instills a love of reading while helping them practice and improve language skills. For all ages, reading engages attention without the overstimulating effect of screen time.

Keep Exploring

Speaking of the library, check your local branch for culture passes. Visit local indoor and outdoor destinations. Let your kids use summer as an opportunity to learn new skills and subjects. Got a gamer? Explore programming. Strike a balance between scheduling activities and allowing free play.

Keep Learning

If you’re going on a trip this summer, educational workbooks are one way to pass the time in the car, train or plane. There’s no shortage of educational games, from the oldschool, portable BrainQuest to the wealth of mobile educational game apps you can download on your phone or tablet. When it comes to educational games, just make sure the games have value as more than just a distraction.

Keep Moving

This one is difficult, but not impossible. Plan activities to make sure you don’t give in to the heat wave’s lulling effect. With little ones, you can put on some music and dance. You could take early morning walks, sign up for classes, or plan outings. Exercise has positive effects on mental health and cognition, which is one of the reasons why teachers defend recess and P.E.

Keep Up with Healthy Habits (And Form New Ones)

In addition to exercise, a healthy diet and regular bedtimes improve cognition. Additionally, consider teaching kids how to do age-appropriate household tasks. For example, you can teach them how to plan and prepare healthy meals.

Posted in Blog on June 7th, 2017