By Vicki Little
You have probably heard about the dreaded “Summer Slide”, but if you are like me you may have dismissed it at first as the hottest new trend at the park. This deceivingly fun name is actually referring to the learning loss that kids can experience during the summer months. It is when your child loses the knowledge and skills that they acquired during the school year. Here are five suggestions to help your children avoid the ride on this slide;
1. Read: This is the number one thing that your child should be doing this summer to avoid losing the ground they have gained during the school year. Your child should be reading daily, even if only for a few minutes or one chapter, but ideally for 20 minutes a day. Get one of your old childhood favorites and have your child read to you so you can spend some time with them and watch their progress through the summer. Check out your local library, most of them have a summer reading program complete with incentives.
2. Explore your town: Go on a family field trip to the local zoo, museum, aquarium, historical site, or theater. Actually take the time to read the information signs and take a tour.
3. Find math anywhere: If you look, you really can find math in much of what you do. Your child can help you with a recipe and learn about fractions, you can play board games and they can add money or count spaces, or even just pass the time in the car quizzing each other with math facts.
4. Start a summer journal: It doesn’t have to be a journal about what they did that day. Get creative-have the family write a fun story together and take turns on who writes the story for the day, take notes about a family field trip, have them pick something they have always wanted to learn about and simply write down what they learn.
5. Silly Science: You may be amazed at how many experiments you can do with what you already have in your house. Take a bit of time to google some fun and easy experiments. Depending on the age of your kids, you may get some free time simply by giving them the supplies and sending them outside to make a mess and be kids!
It doesn’t matter how or what you choose to do…just do something to keep those little brains engaged. With minimal effort you can avoid them slipping backwards in their education, and with just a small bit of effort you may even find that they will start next year ahead of where they are now!
What is your trick to keep your child learning during the summer?
Vicki Little is a work-at-home mom with two young kids. A Colorado native, she is the Publisher and Editor of Macaroni Kid Aurora and Downtown Denver. When she isn’t writing or trying to keep up with her kids she can be found volunteering, reading, or enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.
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