As school days end, something else happens, the slide! Not the water slide, not the park’s slide, but the summer slide. The summer slide is what educators refer to as a decline in academic proficiency over the summer months. In other words, students are forgetting or even regressing on their school skills! A [2020 study](https://teach.mapnwea.org/impl/MAPGrowthNormativeDataOverview.pdf) showed that for some children, it’s more than 50%!
The seriousness of this is understood by all, as this loss, especially in math and reading, has a snowball effect the older a child gets. The longer they experience this slide, the harder it is to learn the necessary things they need to move ahead successfully.
So, how to prevent this slide? Here’s four easy suggestions.
- Read. It’s an obvious one, but keep your child reading. Have them read a few minutes a day. And you read to them as well! Even a picture book, something older kids still enjoy, engages your child’s brain.
- Play. That’s right! Puzzles and board games and building blocks aren’t only fun, they help your child’s mind expand as they work through problems and creatively explore solutions.
- Get outside. There’s so much to be said for being outside. It allows families to chat, children to find new things to explore.
- Workbooks. Sure, a kid might not want to do a workbook, but there are many fun and colorful ones. Even if your child just does one page a day, that’s great reinforcement of their skills.
Making time this summer to reduce or eliminate the summer slide not only helps your children now, but also in the future!