What is the Summer Slide? How can we avoid it?
The Summer Slide is the overall loss of learning during the summer months when school is not in session. Each summer, students are on break for about two & a half months. Kids deserve to have a fun & relaxing summer but there needs to be constant learning involved. On average, students lose 2-3 months of academic learning, especially in subjects like math & reading. Basically, throwing away what they learned from March through May. The Summer Slide is the direct correlation to students having an academic learning gap when transitioning grade levels. This learning gap is profound in both younger & older grade level students. The Summer Slide in effect can cause your child to fall behind in their classes & increase their anxiety at the start of the new school year.
After nearly 3 months off, students may find it very challenging to get back into the swing of things because they need to re-learn all the material they lost over the summer. Instead of starting the school year ahead of the pack or at least at grade level, students who fall victim to the Summer Slide need to play catch up & re-learn old material, while simultaneously being introduced to new topics that incorporate the lessons from their previous grade level. Therefore, students quickly fall behind in the beginning of the school year. Teachers have taken a lot of notice to this & that is why in the fall, 6 weeks are spent relearning old material to make up for summer learning loss while trying to make progress into new academic topics. At times, students can take up to 2 months from the first day of school to finally get back on track, that is, if they haven’t already fallen too far behind their class. The Summer Slide is a serious matter & at Bright & Brainy Tutoring we are doing all we can to avoid it by any means necessary. If your child consistently takes breaks from learning all summer, by the time they reach the 6th grade, they could end up 2 years behind their peers in subjects such as math & reading.
Now that you know the importance of avoiding the Summer Slide, you should feel compelled to spring into action! Incorporate fun learning games and activities into your summer schedule to keep your children engaged. That way, they may continue to develop their skills for the next grade level. After a summer full of fun learning, getting back to school in August won’t seem like such a daunting task. Take control of your child’s learning & make sure they are exposing themselves to material that will enrich them academically as well as build their confidence for the next grade level. Here are 7 great ways to avoid the Summer Slide & still make sure your child has an awesome, fun filled summer:
1. Have your child continue learning daily. Make it a fun routine for your child so they can expect to continue learning something new every day.
2. Hire a tutoring service. Often with such a busy schedule, parents need to bring in professionals who can help their child continue their academic progress. Try to find a tutoring company with a developed curriculum that will enrich your child’s academic skills. Tutoring can help your child review old material to strengthen their understanding & introduce new material to them before they see it in school.
3. Make learning fun & enjoyable. Activities & games are a must for children when it comes to learning. Even older students strongly prefer this type of learning because it breaks them away from the monotonous book work.
4. Incorporate hands-on activities. Hands-on learning allows students to make connections with concepts they learn in the classroom to concepts they learn in the real-world. This kind of learning will activate your child’s brain & this knowledge they gain will more easily be transferred to their long-term memory.
5. Take them to the library once a week. Have your child explore the library in search of books that catch their interests. Your child needs to be reading at least 30 minutes a day to stay on grade level.
6. Engage in meaningful conversations with your child to help build their vocabulary. Instead of just handing them your smartphone to keep them busy, talk with your child & help develop their cognitive & social skills, along with increasing their understanding of different vocabulary words.
7. Speak positively about learning. Explain the value & importance of continuing learning throughout the summer. Your child will thank you when its time for school to start again.