Summer is a wonderful time for children to relax, have fun, and enjoy the outdoors. However, it’s important to ensure that they don’t lose the academic progress they’ve made during the school year. The “summer slide” is a real concern for parents, but there are ways to prevent it. In this post, we’ll explore some ways parents can prevent the summer slide and keep their children engaged and learning throughout the summer.
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1. Encourage Reading
I know I have an image of a summer reading packet but there are many ways to naturally encourage reading in your child without it being assigned. Reading is an excellent way to prevent the summer slump. Encourage your child to read every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. You can set a reading goal, such as reading a certain number of books by the end of the summer, and offer incentives for achieving it. Visiting the library regularly can also help keep your child interested and engaged in reading.
I know my local library has a summer reading challenge which is a lot of fun. My whole family signs up and logs the minutes and books we read. Plus we get points in the challenge for visiting the library and completing certain tasks. Check out your local libraries to see if they have similar programs.
Our local bank incentivizes reading by paying children to read…yes, really LOL. My son was able to participate last year as it was for children entering grades 1-6. They could earn up to $25 which would be deposited in their bank account and all they had to do was read a book and write a report on it.
2. Explore Learning Opportunities
Summer is a great time to explore new learning opportunities. Look for local camps, workshops, or classes focusing on your child’s interests. You can also use online resources, such as educational websites or apps, to keep your child engaged and learning. These resources can cover a range of subjects, from math and science to art and music.
3. Play Educational Games
Playing educational games is another fun way to keep your child’s mind active during the summer. There are plenty of board games, card games, and online games that teach skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork. Playing games as a family can also be a great way to bond and spend quality time together.
My kids love to have family game nights now and it has grown into something fun that we all enjoy. Playing board games together teaches important skills and lessons. The game itself doesn’t need to be educational. My kids are currently loving Guess Who. It is great for critical thinking, reasoning, taking turns, etc. A bonus is that the games are fairly quick and my 5-year-old can play without assistance.
4. Set Goals and Track Progress
Setting goals and tracking progress can help your child stay motivated and engaged throughout the summer. Encourage your child to set academic goals for the summer, such as improving their math skills or reading comprehension. You can then track progress together and celebrate achievements along the way.
My son found this Star Wars book that he is obsessed with when we were on vacation. He completes it for fun. He has asked to get the other ones for the summer so he can work on them and I was like… “um…sure!” This kind of thing probably won’t work for most kids, but my son isn’t most kids and we found what works for him.
5. Create a Schedule
Creating a daily or weekly schedule can help your child stay organized and focused during the summer. Set aside time for reading, learning activities, and outdoor play. You can also include chores or household tasks in the schedule to teach responsibility and time management skills. I find creating a schedule also helps to keep me on task and keeps things from becoming too monotonous.
In conclusion, the summer slide is a real concern for parents, but there are many ways to prevent it. By encouraging reading, exploring learning opportunities, playing educational games, setting goals and tracking progress, and creating a schedule, you can help your child stay engaged and learning throughout the summer. Remember to make learning fun and enjoyable, and your child will be ready for the new school year.