What Parents Need to Know to Prevent Summer Slide

It’s that time of year again—summer is here! The two months kids are out of school may fly by, but it’s enough time for kids to fall back in their learning. This tendency for children to lose some of their previous year’s academic gains is commonly referred to as the “summer slide.”

For many US children, the 2021-2022 school year was their return to a somewhat normal year following the COVID-19 disruptions to our school systems. However, parents and teachers have all been concerned about the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on students’ learning gains.

We all want to give kids the summer break they need and look forward to all year, but some learning opportunities can help keep their progress on track. This summer presents an opportune time to close learning gaps, make sure students reenter the next school year academically ready, or even accelerate their learning.

Summer slide prevention tips

At Adaptively, we’re experts in delivering high-quality education that is also engaging and fun. We’ll share some of our best tips to keep your child plugged into mind-growing opportunities.

  1. Help your child select appropriate books. We suggest the “Goldilocks Effect”—don’t choose books that are too simple or too complex. Instead, find “just right” books that challenge your child’s vocabulary and grow their knowledge in their areas of interest. Need some book suggestions? Link over to this blog for popular book titles for children across elementary and middle school grades.
  2. Encourage your child to explore topics in various genres and formats. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy reading graphic novels, magazines, or e-books. Summer reading is a powerful way to help prevent the summer slide. Having your child read from a variety of genres can help them explore and learn about all sorts of topics in a variety of formats. They may even find their favorite genre and format which will make reading all that more enjoyable to them! Additionally, when children find the joy and relaxation that comes with reading, they’ll learn to view reading as an enriching life activity and not just a “have-to” task.
  3. Set up a summer reading goal chart for the whole family. Strong reading models encourage children to do as they see. Not every child will become a bookworm, but every child needs to become a successful reader. Many children hear the message they should read, but they must see it in action. Make a comfy book area or sit on the couch together and enjoy a good read! This is also a great opportunity to have full and meaningful discussions as a family about what they liked, disliked, or learned from a recent reading. How could the same story be told differently? Being able to analyze and think critically about a passage is an essential skill in literacy and language arts classes.
  4. Get creative with arts and crafts. It’s not all about reading, writing, and math. Engaging in the arts stimulates children’s understanding of the abstract and physical world, sharpens their problem-solving skills, and strengthens their visual-motor skills.
  5. Find a high-quality and convenient enrichment program to help your child’s skills. Let’s face it. Not every (or many) parents want to step into the role of their child’s teacher, too. At Adaptively, we offer flexible, online small classes that kids love attending from the comfort of a home computer. They’ll forget they’re learning while having fun with active engagement from their teacher, educational games, and social stimulation. Our programs allow your child to sit a few days a week for a short time to review last year’s skills and learn new ones to prepare for the upcoming school year. After putting in their effort, let them pick a fun indoor game or outdoor activity as a reinforcing and natural reward.
  6. Take advantage of public summer programs. Many local libraries or community centers offer free or low-cost programs for children. These activities are great ways for kids to stay engaged in learning and have fun.

As you can see, even though the summer slide is real and affects many children over the summer months, there are simple and effective ways to help your child enter the fall happy, confident, and ready. For more information on additional enrichment supports to help children learn while they have fun, contact us!