Keep Kids Far from the "Summer Slide": Stressless Summer

This post is part of the Stressless Summer Tour, hosted by Dr. Lynne Kenney and me in celebration of the completion of our book, Bloom: Helping Children Blossom. Like our book, we hope these stressless summer tips will make life easier!

This guest post is brought to you by Joan Brennan, the recipient of our Kidlutions Seal of Approval for her Reading Focus Card.  Joan is no stranger to Kidlutions and has provided us some very valuable posts in the past: Helping Your Kids Avoid Summer Brain Drain and Entice Your Toddler into the World of Reading. Without further ado, here's Joan:

Each summer, most schools in the United States schedule a summer break that can last for approximately 10 weeks or so.  Children and families love this time of the year, as it gives them an opportunity to enjoy the warmer weather, the activities that weather allows and some freedom from the structured schedule of the school year. 

Unfortunately, during this same time, many children experience what is known as the “summer slide”, a term that describes the loss of reading and math skills learned.  Did you know that many students lose nearly two months of their reading progress and up to 1/3 of what they learned in math?  Sadly, this is the case.

However, you can help your child avoid the “summer slide” with just a little information and some careful planning.  The following tips have been provided to help you do just that.  Choosing to follow through on all or just a handful of the ideas here will help keep your child far from the “summer slide” this year!

1. First of all, try to introduce a little more structure into your child’s remaining summer vacation days.  Be sure to allow for time to read, exercise, be “creative” and do family chores to help prepare for the routine of the new school year approaching.  Consider a quick visit to Kidlutions’ pin at http://pinterest.com/pin/37647346858085790/ to help provide you with ideas for a basic but “fun” summer schedule.

2. Look for brain games and apps to share with your child that promote and further develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

3. Incorporate activities into your child’s day that involve sorting and organizing (i.e., re-organizing a chest of drawers, gathering clothing for a donation, etc.)  These are executive function skills that encourage comparing, contrasting and evaluating---good skills to sharpen over the summer.

4.  Encourage physical activities that will promote balance, coordination and the following of rules.  You may be surprised to learn that these activities can be as simple as a game of Hopscotch or a few sessions of jumping or skipping rope.  Did you know that these kinds of activities can help improve brain connectivity?  Yes, they can!

5. Include visits or walks to your local library to choose books for reading time.  While there, consider participating in the numerous summer activities made available to children and their families (most are FREE).  You may even introduce your child to a new topic of interest or hobby in the process!

6. Check out your local school or teacher supply store to help provide inexpensive review materials.  Small math workbooks with content from your child’s previous or coming academic year can offer opportunities to “brush up” on skills and/or help your child get a head start for the fall.  Present just a page at a time (taken from a workbook) so that things to not appear to be overwhelming to your child.

7. Plan a few visits to your community’s museums, the zoo or other attraction that will provide opportunities for your child to learn.  After such visits, request that your child create a poem, a piece of artwork or even a recording that describes his experience (allow child to choose according to learning style).

8. Read together!  Ask your child to read a favorite story to you.  Follow with a discussion of the selection.  Talk about the characters in the story, any new words for your child and other possible or alternate conclusions to the story.

For even more ideas to keep young brains from experiencing the “summer slide”, consider a visit to these Pinterest Boards:
 


Happy reading and learning---all summer long!
Joan M. Brennan
Brennan Innovators, LLC

Comments

peter kenneth said…
Wonderful blog post! thank you for sharing it with us. Keep blogging.
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