Summer Slide 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: >Take your child to the library and have them pick out books that interest them. >Make sure the books your child reads are at their reading level. While it is important for children to push themselves to learn new words, you don’t want them to feel frustrated if the reading is too difficult. >Read books to your child in a funny voice, or have different voices for the characters to make it more interesting and enjoyable for your child. >Read books with your child. Take turns with your child reading every other page. >Praise your child after each page or two. Say things like, “Wow, you sounded out a really hard word.” “I’m so impressed.” or “Great reading.” >Reading the same book over and over can seem monotonous, but hearing the same story can aid in reading, so it’s great if your child asks for the same book each day.
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.
Physical Fitness 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.