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Preventing the "Summer Slide"

Parents often ask themselves, "What strategies can I use to avoid the 'summer slide' with my children?"

During the summer, children tend to lose some of the academic skills and dispositions that they gained during the school year due to the absence and scarcity of quality learning activities during summer vacation. As the old saying goes, "If you don't use it, you lose it."

In order to continue growing academically, children require consistent opportunities to grow new skills and practice existing ones. These opportunities can take a variety of forms, including, but not limited to:

  • Vacation Learning: If you and your family plan to take a vacation this summer, try turning it into a history or social studies activity. Have your children research the destination's history, museums, cuisine, and popular attractions. Once you reach your destination, schedule tours of famous landmarks and locations that your children have researched. This will be rewarding for both parents and children!

  • Create Real-Life Learning Opportunities: When at the grocery store with your children, challenge their math skills and have them add up the total cost of your purchase -- for children who know multiplication, have them add the tax!

  • Summer Journaling: Ask your children to write a daily journal entry of all the things they've learned that day. In order for this to work, you will need to orchestrate learning activities for your children. You can't trust that children will be able to do it on their own.

  • Family Reading Program: Create a summer reading program with your children, in which you and your children agree upon a set number of grade-level books to read per month. In order to show solidarity, the entire family should participate.

  • Learning Locally: Don't forget about your local parks, museums, zoos, aquariums, etc. There are nearly unlimited opportunities for education all around us!

Don't let your children fall into the "summer slide"! Engage them in learning both inside and outside of school. Try using some of the methods listed above!

Let us know your strategies for avoiding the summer slide, or if these suggestions helped your family have a more productive summer!

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