Updated: Apr 28
9 Things to Do to Beat The Summer Slide
When I think of summer, I think about going to the water park and getting on the water slide. Or going to the playground and trying to slide on the large metal slide.
But my mother always stopped me from getting on the metal slide. She feared that I would get third-degree burns because the slide had been scorched by the beaming sun for hours.
Yet, there is another slide parents should beware of and that is the summer slide.
What is the Summer Slide?
The summer slide is a time during the summer when students' reading ability and academic skills decline due to less academic engagement during June - September.
Summer learning loss affects each child in different ways. Therefore, the decline in your child's readability skills may not be as noticeable in September.
However, any skill learned needs to be practiced consistently, otherwise, some kind of decline in the skill will occur. For example, I studied French for a month and then stopped. Three months later, I attempted to study it again and forgot everything I had learned including the basics.
So, how do we prevent the summer slide?
How to Avoid the Summer Slide?
Preventing summer learning loss may seem difficult at first. You may be saying, should my child attend summer school. Not necessarily. If your child needs to attend summer school, then allow him/her to attend. But there are things you can consistently do at home to maintain academic engagement throughout the summer.
Here is a list of ideas to help you beat the summer slide:
1) The 20-minute daily challenge
Daily, set a timer for 20 minutes and have your child read. If your child can read independently, make it a goal to read for 20 minutes every day. Daily independent reading will help your child build fluency and practice skills that are taught during the school year.
Here are some general grade-level goals. Remember that every child's reading stamina is different.
Daily independent reading time
Kindergarten-Early 1st grade
5 minutes - 10 minutes
10 minutes - 15 minutes
15 minutes - 20 minutes
3rd and 4th Grade
20 minutes - 30 minutes
30 minutes - 40 minutes
If you want your child to be a reader, you must be a reader yourself. Allow them to see you reading for pleasure and modeling reading as a hobby. Set a reading goal for yourself and join the 20-minute daily challenge with them.
If your child cannot read independently, then check out tips #4 and #5.
2) Explore different kinds of reading materials
All genres of text have academic benefits. Have your child read picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, play scripts, comic books, or magazines.
Magazines can get even the most hesitant reader excited about reading. Shorter articles and larger photos make reading easier. Every day, children can pick up a magazine and get some reading done!
3) Make use of your local library
This can be a weekly adventure that gets everyone out of the house. Most libraries have summer reading recommendations and ongoing children's programs as well.
While at the library, allow your children to select books that interest them. Reading should not be a chore but an enjoyable activity.
Guide your children in finding books that interest them. Then give them the freedom to choose whether they would like to continue the book they started.
4) Listen to audiobooks on summer car trips
Reading can help pass the time on road trips and plane rides. Taking books on trips is also a wonderful solution to the "I'm bored" line you might hear. If you do not feel like carrying a bunch of books with you, try audiobooks.
Not only are audiobooks convenient, but they also provide important benefits. Your child will be expanding her imagination, vocabulary, listening comprehension, and more!
5) Read Aloud with your child daily
If you begin reading to your children when they are young, they are much more likely to develop a reading habit. When children associate reading with pleasant memories, they are more likely to persevere in learning to read. Even if they encounter setbacks along the way.
Reading aloud to children also helps them develop their language skills. Children absorb strong language skills as they listen to you read. They learn proper word pronunciation, usage, and grammar. All these skills will eventually transfer to their speaking and writing abilities.
6) Engage in meaningful conversation
Ask your children open-ended questions that require them to respond with more than a "yes" or "no." Remove all distractions and give your child your undivided attention during these conversations.
If your child is having a challenging time holding a conversation with you. Use wordless picture books and have your child create a story with you by looking at the pictures in the book. Try to use varied ways to describe something when telling the story. This will help build your child's vocabulary.
7) Do fun hands-on activities together
Hands-on learning engages children in problem-solving strategies. It allows young children to interact with the learning materials and make mistakes as they learn in a significant way.
Learning something new can lift our spirits, boost our creativity, boost our confidence, and relieve boredom. Discovering a new hobby with your child is an exciting adventure! Here is a list of interesting hobbies to try:
• Crocheting or knitting
• Trying a new musical instrument
• Jewelry making
• Pottery making
• Bird watching
• Collecting coins, stamps, cards, or shells
• Wood crafting
8) Join or create a book club
Having your child chat with family or friends about what they read will help with reading comprehension skills. Book clubs provide a social outlet for children to discuss what they have read.
This is how your children will continue to improve their reading comprehension and social skills at the same time.
9) Hire a Reading Tutor
What do you do if your child doesn't want to read because they struggle with reading?
Get a reading tutor. This will ensure that your child stays on track, stays motivated, and not only stays at their current reading level but increases in reading levels.
Currently, I have a couple of spots open. So, if you are interested in an individualized plan for your child that will make a difference, you can contact me.
I will provide a FREE ASSESSMENT and consultation to get your child the help he or she needs. So, that he or she can start the school year more confident in their reading abilities than ever before.
The Key to Preventing Summer Learning Loss
The key to preventing the summer slide from happening to your child is promoting learning all summer long.
So, utilize this list of tips to not just prevent the summer slide, but to consciously strive to provide learning opportunities throughout the summer that will keep your child's academic skills sharp.
😎 Happy Summer!!! 😎