“Summer Slide” is a term parents may hear at the end of the school year. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with playground activities. Rather, “summer slide” refers to knowledge gained during the school year that may be lost over the duration of summer break.
The National Summer Learning Association says many students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in math computation skills over the summer. Students tend to score lower on standardized tests after summer vacation than they do when the same tests are taken at the onset of summer.
Minds left to sit idle can haunt children when it’s time to return to the classroom. But parents who engage kids throughout the summer and reinforce educationally sound activities can prevent summer slide.
• Make vacations educational. Visit a locale kids have studied in class and explore its culture and traditions.
• Offer plenty of reading materials. Reading can expand children’s minds and help them build and maintain their vocabulary.
• Ask teachers for work packets. Students can stay on top of their studies by doing some light schoolwork throughout the summer. This can reinforce lessons kids have already learned and keep their minds sharp.
• Purchase a journal. Encourage kids to write about their summer adventures in a journal. Chances are their teachers will ask about summer vacations and may require an essay when students return to school.