Preventing The Summer Slide
Summer is a time for playing outside, going on vacation, camping, and taking time off from school. However, those few months being school free can often cause kids to hit the summer slide. This is the term used to describe what happens when kids are not actively using their brain as they do in school. It can also result in the loss of some skills, such as those learned in math and reading. However, there are many ways parents can help ensure that while having fun, their children are not falling into the summer slide.
1. Introduce New Things
Often, children are reluctant to try something new. Parents can encourage them to try new things during the summer that might help develop various skills. For example, children can be introduced to interactive technology, such as academic websites. Or, you can work together with your child in learning how to build a robotic device or play an instrument. By trying new things, children may develop new skills and passions.
2. Read Everyday
Reading is a vital part of learning fundamental reading skills and vocabulary. During the summer, it is important to encourage children to still read books that interest them. Taking trips to the library can be fun and give them the opportunity to check out a diverse selection of books. Many libraries have reading programs where students can earn prizes for reading during the summer. Reading also does not have to be just books. It can be reading a guide when visiting a new place, magazines, road signs, etc.
3. Enroll In Summer Courses
Many children can benefit and enjoy taking summer courses while not in school. Summer enrichment programs are created to be more like camp than traditional school. Students participate in a variety of academic projects to keep their brain active. Programs can vary, but some may be focused on increasing STEM skills, reading and writing, or other subject areas.
4. Make Learning Fun
Children can learn when they don’t even realize they are learning. There are many activities that can be done that includes certain skills. For example, have the kids do a race in the pool. They can use a timer to record times and create a chart to denote who got 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. Or, you can help them make a birdhouse using a blueprint and checking measurements. The options are endless. The key is to keep it fun and peak their interests.
5. Make Screen Time Valuable
It is inevitable that children will watch television, be on their phone, and play on their laptops/tablets. Limit this time and make it valuable. There are numerous apps and games that can be played on their phone or laptop that includes various skill sets and is fun. The same goes for educational television. They can still have this screen time, but use it in a way that they are still actively learning.