7 Tips to beat the summer slide

7 Tips to beat the summer slide

Have you ever noticed your brain feeling a little rusty after a long summer break? That's not your imagination. Students of all ages are prone to summer slide, a phenomenon where academic skills and knowledge regress over the summer months.  

What is a Summer Slide? 

During the sunny days of summer, kids often take a break from the structured routines of school, trading textbooks for fun outdoor activities. While this 6-week break is much needed and well-deserved, it can come with a downside known as the "summer slide." This phenomenon refers to the loss of academic skills and knowledge that occurs when children are out of school during the summer months. This is mainly because children won't be: 

  • Acquiring new skills: They won't be exposed to fresh concepts that build on their existing knowledge. 
  • Soaking up new information: Daily lessons that expand their understanding will be on pause. 
  • Sharpening their existing skills: Regular practice and testing, which solidify what they've learned, will be less frequent.  

Is it Real? 

Summer learning loss, often called the "summer slide," has been a concern for researchers for decades. It all started in 1996 with a major study revealing significant knowledge loss in reading and math over summer break. This loss, unfortunately, snowballs as the cycle repeats each year. 

More recent research focused on grades 3rd to 5th confirmed this trend. On average, students in these grades lost a concerning amount of their reading and math skills during the summer break: roughly 20% in reading and a steeper 27% in math. So yes, it is very real. 

Why is summer slide a concern? 

Summer slide isn't just about forgetting facts. While that's a bummer, there are bigger consequences: 

  • Teacher time crunch: Imagine your child's teacher starting the year by reviewing forgotten material instead of diving into new, exciting topics. This can slow down the whole class. 
  • Playing catch-up: Students who experience summer slide might feel lost when new lessons build on what they didn't retain. They could fall behind and struggle to keep up with their peers. 
  • Reduced confidence: Falling behind can be discouraging. Students who experience summer slide might lose some of their learning enthusiasm. 

7 Tips to prevent summer slide 

Here are 7 ways to keep your child's mind sharp and prevent summer learning loss this break! 

1.Encourage daily reading practice 

A simple summer reading program, whether it's 15 minutes a day or tackling 6 books, can be a powerful tool to keep your child's mind sharp and engaged over the break. When kids choose books they're excited about, they're more likely to maintain, or even improve, their reading skills. Here are some ways to spark their interest: 

  • Read aloud together to foster a love of language and keep your child engaged. 
  • Explore the library shelves with your child and let them discover exciting new reads. 
  • Find fun with summer reading programs. Many libraries and community centers offer activities that make reading enjoyable. 
  • Keep a stack of their chosen books readily available at home. Make a special corner for them to make it more interesting for them. 
  • For those resistant to physical books, audiobooks offer another way to get lost in a story with a captivating narrator. 

Want More? Try Wordpop for phonemic awareness, word recognition, print exposure, improved reading comprehension, and learning to read faster than other methods. 

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