The “summer slide” is here, but you can make all the difference.
Summer time often leads to a decline in academic progress and unfortunately decline from the previous year’s work. How can you, as a parent, prevent your child from falling back during the summer months?
1. Have your child read with you every day for 20 minutes.
2. Purchase an age appropriate workbook and complete it together. Be sure to review any concepts that might be unclear to your child.
3. Take your child on educational field trips: children’s museums, local parks, historic sites, and libraries.
4. Sign your child up for summer tutoring sessions.
5. Sign your child up for educational camps.
6. Sign your child up for a library reading program.
7. During meal time, offer educational questions to discuss over the meal.
8. For younger children, read to your child daily.
9. Create fun, interactive learning games such as hopscotch with multiplication questions.
10. When taking summer trips, purchase local maps to work on map skills.
11. When watching TV, turn off the sound and leave the caption on to read.
12. Baking and cooking together can be a great opportunity to incorporate fractions and understand directions.
13. Plant a garden to learn responsibility and see how nature and science go hand in hand.
14. Take field trips to tour “see how it is made” places such as Spangler Candy and Airstream RVs.
15. Good old fashion board games such as Monopoly and Scrabble are great educational games the whole family can enjoy.
16. Summer is a great time of year for catching and learning about living things. These could be temporary pets such as worms, toads, ants, and fish.
17. Going on vacation? Post cards are a great way to keep writing skills sharp. Summer pen pals using the U.S. Postal Service can be an exciting addition to getting the mail.
18. Start a neighborhood book club, and enjoy the movie version and popcorn afterwards. Which was better the movie or book?
19. Lemonade stands are a great real world lesson in money, sales, overhead, profit, and loses. Get creative with other things to sell.
20. A safe community blog is a great way to keep writing and improve typing skills. Educational video games can also be utilized throughout the summer, but just be sure to limit the screen time.
In addition to planning educational activities for your child, be an A-plus example. Let your child see you reading and learning. Often times, we may climb into bed and enjoy some quiet reading without the children around, but it is critical for them to see you enjoy reading. Talk to your child about the good memories you had going to school and learning. Share with them examples, such as the time you had to work extra hard in math or when you pulled off an A-plus on an important test. Discuss current events and how they relate to what you have learned. Discuss your daily job and what things you have had to learn to do your job well.
There are many opportunities during the summer to help your child learn and not suffer from summer slide. Teachers need parents to take an active role in their children’s education. Teachers cannot prevent the summer slide, but you can. Don’t let your child start school behind in the fall. Give your child what they need.
Joy Hules is the the owner of A+ Tutoring in Troy. She has a Master’s in Education from the University of Georgia and has taught for over 15 years in both public and private institutions.