Preventing the “Summer Slide”

The summer slide is real. On average, students lose 2-3 months of learning progress they made over the school year when they don’t spend time practicing over the summer. But working this practice into the summer routine is easier than many parents think! 

In the video below, we provide some simple but powerful tips for working a little more academics into your kids’ days in order to prevent that dreaded “summer slide.”

Key Takeaways

Here’s a summary of our pro tips for preventing summer skill loss:

Create Structure

Kids crave routine. They need predictability. But they don’t have the metacognition to know this about themselves, and they may even appear to resist new routines. Don’t let them fool you! All kids benefit from structure. Setting aside a designated amount of time each day during the summer months will give kids that practice they need to keep their skills sharp, and they’re a lot less likely to fight it, because they know exactly when it’s happening each day and how long it’ll last! If your kid is the type who likes to get things out of the way early, have them do their 20 minutes of math first thing after breakfast, before their day at the beach. Or have them wind down each night with 20 minutes of reading. Better yet, incorporate both! After a few days, it’ll just become part of their summer routine.

Break Tasks Down

If your child has summer homework, help him or her to tackle it by breaking it down into small chunks. If it’s in the form of a packet, this will probably be easy–just have students do 1-2 pages a day until it’s done! For more cohesive assignments, like a project, essay, or book report, they’ll probably need some help identifying those smaller pieces. To do this, write out a list of all of the action items your students need to take to complete the assignment. Do they need to read a book? Break it down by chapter. Do they need to conduct research in order to write a paper? Have them pose questions and answer one question each day until they’re ready to draft.

Make Learning Fun

Skills practice does not need to consist of “drills” and worksheets! There are so many games out there that are engaging enough to “trick” kids into learning. An easy one to modify is Go Fish, which can be switched around so that instead of finding similar cards, players are working on “Make 10” facts. Or just pull out your child’s favorite board game and substitute the original cards for math facts!

Kids also love it when their parents get involved in their learning. Ask them questions about their work (not to test them, but to show your genuine curiosity). If you have the time, read the same book they’re reading and talk about it as you read it. Hold your own mini book club discussions.

Celebrate Hard Work

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of positive reinforcement! Showing pride and enthusiasm in every little success will go a long way in boosting their motivation so that they carry the good habits they’ve established through the whole summer.

Be sure to keep an eye out for some of our favorite resources we’ll be posting soon!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get updates to new articles, promotions and more!