School’s (Still) Out for Summer! 5 Easy Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide

summer slideThis post was written by a TeacherMom in hopes to provide parents with ways to prevent the “summer slide” in little learners.” It is geared toward parents of kids who recently wrapped up Kindergarten through 2nd grades, though many of the ideas can easily be adapted for older learners.

The “summer slide” – it’s a thing. Teachers loathe it, as it sets kids back in their learning while on summer break. {We worked SO hard to memorize those sight words! Don’t lose ‘em now, kid!} Summer break is just that, though, right? A break? Yes, but it’s still important for kids to practice their learned skills as to not be set back a few months’ worth of learning when they return to school in mid- to late-August. Now that your little learner(s) has been out of school for a couple weeks and has had some carefree smiles in the summer sun, it’s time to get them back into a bit of an academic routine with a few minutes of skill practice each day.  Here are 5 super easy ways to help your little learner avoid the summer slide… 

1. Read

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You hear this one all the time. But seriously, taking time to read each day is HUGE. Give your child some buy in by letting him/her pick out books from your local library. Schedule quiet time each day for reading, whether it’s after lunch or right before bed. Books are easy to travel with, too. Reading aloud to your child is just as important as your child reading aloud to you (or reading independently, if they’re at that stage). Have your child help set an individual goal for him/herself and offer an incentive for reading so many minutes or pages. What kid won’t read for a frozen yogurt?

 2. Sight Word Practice

If you’re a parent of a young learner, you’ve heard of sight words (or high frequency words). They’re the words we read, write, and say often. Each grade level learns a set of words for the year, and if you’ve got your child’s list handy, whip it out for some practice! If you’ve got no clue what sight words your child knows/should know, search Pinterest for a word list. Practice sight words in fun ways – build the words with Playdoh or Legos, write the words in a sand or glitter tray. Put these words into silly sentences to be read during lunch time or car rides around town while running errands. Keep these words fresh and active in your child’s brain.

3. Write

Whether your little learner is working on a simple sentence or a couple of paragraphs, writing is important to keep up with. Let your child pick out a fancy new composition notebook from the store and help him/her think of a creative title for their new journal, or ask a friend or family member if they would like a summer pen pal to write back and forth with.  Need help with that weekly grocery list? Your little learner can help with that! Continuing to write allows kids to practice getting ideas onto paper and allows for a creative outlet, as well as helps them practice using good mechanics, like capital letters and punctuation (and lots of best-guess spelling).

4. Number Fluency & Fact Practice

Keep your child’s number strength up by practicing counting, recognizing, and writing their numbers. Make good ol’ flashcards (index cards and colorful markers) or pull out the shaving cream and spread it on a cookie sheet to make number writing clean and fun. If your learner moved onto addition and subtraction facts last school year, have your child be the teacher and create facts for you to solve while you prep a meal.

5. Visit Educational Websites

If it’s a battle to put away the technology, make some of your child’s daily screen time dedicated to a learning website or app. And hey, so many are free these days, so it’s a win win!

Some of my favorite websites are…

 

And when all else fails, search Pinterest for some ideas to prevent the summer slide…with your feet up and favorite beverage in hand (ignoring the chaos of kids on summer break in the background). Let them be little, but throw some reading, writing, and number practice their way to keep all that hard work from the school year fresh in their growing brains.

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