Combating Summer Slide
We scared you with some information about the ways that summer vacation can affect students, but there are ways to prevent the summer slide.
One way to do this is by building a new skill foundation for your child. Instead of memorizing information, build skills that will make your children better thinkers: problem solving, cause and effect thinking, creativity and dialogue. Focus on subject areas that they might not spend a lot of time on during the school year; social studies, science, technology, or art. Attending a coding program, a STEM event or even an art class can help keep your child's thinking skills fresh and prevent their skills from sliding.
Another way to do this is by using technology. Screen time gets a bad rep, but when used educationally it can be a great way for your child to continue learning. Watching documentaries, playing math-apps, and even reading digital articles are all great ways to keep your child engaged and learning while using technology.
According to Scholastic, reading six books over the summer will help prevent the loss of reading skills. This might be easier said than done. For resistant readers, there are other ways to keep reading skills fresh. Magazines, comic books, and TV with subtitles are just a few ideas. If your family is going on a trip, let your child do some of the research (with supervision) and read about the places you will be going. Their excitement about the trip will likely mask their lack of excitement towards reading.
Writing often gets overshadowed by reading during the summer. Keep your child's writing skills fresh by having them journal about their summer break, write letters to family and friends, or write responses to the books that they are reading. Your child can work on their own comic series or find a topic to research.
As shared in the last post, math skills are more in danger than reading skills are over the summer break. Math is everywhere, take advantage of that. Focus on number recognition (think: street signs, phones, grocery store), patterns, and math ideas like more or less. Using a deck of cards you can play games that require your child to identify numbers, identify greater/less than, and do simple addition or subtraction. Children up to second grade should work on addition and subtraction, place value, doubles facts and ten facts.
If your child is in third grade or higher, they should continue working on their multiplication and division facts so that they retain what they've memorized so far this year. It is important that with keeping memorized facts fresh, students are problem solving using critical thinking and logic so that they are building their higher order thinking skills at the same time.