What is the “summer slide?” Summer slide is the tendency of students to lose some of the achievements they have gained during the school year over the summer break. Studies have shown that children do worse on standardized tests taken at the end of summer than they did on the exact tests taken the beginning of summer. On average, children lose two months of reading skills over the summer. Kids lose 2.6 months of math skills, and one to two months of total learning is lost over the summer break. It takes six weeks of a new school year for children to regain what they lost over the summer. By the end of sixth grade, students who have experienced summer slide over the years are about two years behind their peers academically.
The good news is that summer slide can be reduced or reversed completely. What can be done to prevent summer slide? Parental involvement is vital. Children whose parents read with them every day are less likely to experience summer slide. Try to incorporate reading into your routine. Read with your child right after breakfast, or have a bedtime story each night.
Ways to make reading more appealing:
Maybe you have a child who dislikes or struggles with reading. Here are some tips to encourage reading:
Another way to combat the summer slide is to enroll children in summer school or summer reading programs. Summer reading programs have been shown to raise children’s test scores. Summer school programs have been shown to reduce the summer slide, however, these programs are most effective when children attend regularly, so make sure your child attends every day.
Summer is also a time when children could lose levels of physical fitness. Why is physical fitness important? It matters because physical health is known to increase academic performance. In fact, regular exercise can improve concentration and increase math and test scores.
Here are some ideas to incorporate physical fitness into your summer: Start early. Summer is hot! Try to get outside early in the morning when it’s cooler. There are many inexpensive ways to exercise. Some ideas are, go to the park. Playground equipment is fun and active. Play a sport with your child, like soccer or basketball. Go for a walk or bike ride. Exercise can be done in the home. Create a circuit routine for your child such as having your child do 15 jumping jacks, 20 sit-ups, run in place for 30 seconds, etc. Make exercise fun by asking your child to imitate animals, i.e. hop like a frog, run like a cheetah, flap their “wings” like a bird.
Sources: www.brookings.edu http://www.ascd.org http://www.pbs.org https://medium.com