Most kids experience summer learning loss, sometimes called “summer slide,” during the vacation between school years. It’s the loss of several weeks’ worth of reading, math, and other skills due to lack of practice. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to practice the previous school year’s skills at home and in the community so kids start the school year ready to learn new skills, instead of needing massive review of lost skills.
Reading every day is an easy way for families to prevent summer learning loss. Create opportunities for kids to read a variety of materials, like books, comic books, ebooks, magazines, and informational online articles. Start a family book club, or help your child organize a book club with his or her friends. For other skills, like math, science, and social sciences, try online resources like videos and worksheets.
Many communities offer literacy programs during the summer. For example, most public libraries host a summer reading program to incentivize reading with rewards and special events and activities. Tutoring centers are another great place to check for ongoing literacy-based activities during the summer. In fact, letting older kids volunteer to tutor youngsters is a great way to sharpen skills while giving back. You can also check with your child’s school board for suggestions.
Use your local resources, like public parks, zoos, aquariums, and museums to create fun, interactive learning opportunities all summer long. Plan a day trip to one of these locations by checking out their website, then come up with some ways to add value to the visit, such as shareable facts, a scavenger hunt, or a pop quiz with prizes.
Check with your local parks and recreation department to see if special camps are offered during the summer. Day camps covering topics like robotics, Lego engineering, nature experiences, and even crime scene investigation are some of the many offerings you might find. The American Camp Association makes it easy to find educational camps in your area with its searchable database that allows you to narrow down camps by geographical location and other options, such as academic focus.
No matter which methods your family chooses to combat summer slide, just remember to keep the focus on having fun together!