5 Tips to Prevent the Summer Slide

1
Jul
2020

We are in our final days of our school year.  Like most of the country, we switched to a homeschool model back in April and were not in the classroom.  It’s been a shift for this mom, who else can feel me on that?

Now that we’ve mastered a rhythm to our day, life has become a bit easier to manage.  We still have two days left of school….. thank goodness!!

As we end the school year and to a much needed break from the learning, it’s important to keep our kids in the game so they do not lose what they’ve mastered over the last few months.   The ‘summer slide’ is the phrase used to describe the slide backwards  many children make in reading and math skills over the summer break.  But you can combat summer slide by encouraging your child to devote a small bit of time each day to keeping up skills.  I have some tips to help you put this into action.

Reading

Oh how I love that my son truly loves to read.  At ten, that was not always the case, but there is a time where a switch usually gets flipped and kids begin to read easier and it becomes more enjoyable.  We’ve been using some of his allowance, and matching it when he wants to purchase a book on amazon to read.  We love our library system, but it is currently not operating for physical book checkout.  We have used the Libby app, which allows you to download ebooks and audio books from your local library.  It is still a screen, and we do limit that time, even when reading, but are more flexible since physical books are not available right now.

We’ve taken an old iPhone of ours and disabled many features, but allowed the Libby app on it so our son can have it for reading.  It’s been a life saver for sure.  Reading really keeps their brains engaged and allows creativity and imagination.  Does your child enjoy reading?  If not, pick a few books to read outloud together, I shared some read outloud book ideas a few weeks ago.

Writing letters

Yep, an oldie but goodie, especially during this time.  Why not get your child set up to send letters or cards to family members who live far away.  This is an incredible way for them to practice their penmanship and letter writing skills, and have fun too.  Grab some greeting cards and fun stickers to help round out this experience.

Come up with a list of people to write to and they can pre-address those envelopes on a few days, and then take one or two cards each day to write a happy note in.  If the envelopes are already stamped and addressed, it goes much easier.  They might even have fun getting letters back in the mail!

A Page a Day

Since the homeschooling session began back in April for us, I have been using Education.com to find grade appropriate curriculum for my son.  You can use it for free, so I encourage you to try it out.  It’s been fun to pick different subject areas to focus on and just today I let my son choose whatever work he wanted, it just needed to be age appropriate.  So he chose, and printed some worksheets out.  It was so easy and he had fun.

We’ve also use workbooks during the summer similar to these, which make it super simple.  You can easily take these on the road as well, if you are planning to do any traveling.  It’s not quantity that matters, but consistency.  If you ask your child to do just one page of work a day, as part of their daily routine, you will see growth in their abilities, which is really empowering for them as well as you.

Flash Cards

We are all familiar with these, right?  You likely had them when you were in school and perhaps on summer vacation!!  However, flash cards are so important for recalling information quickly and for memorizing.  We are currently working through our multiplication facts in flashcards and will start division soon.  I love them for their ease of throwing in my purse when we are on the go as well as just their interaction and connection with the person who is holding the cards.

We recently returned from a road trip and the flashcards were used in the car to pass time.  It was so easy to have them on hand.

Work for Screen Time

This is a gem friends.  If you struggle with setting limits on screen time, remember, you are in charge.  You have tools at your fingertips to use to create a routine that will help your child and you interchangeably.  At our house, we have an old slogan, “work first, then play.”  You’ve likely heard it too, but have you put it in place in your home?

Pick a few of these ideas for your child to incorporate and then allow them to “earn” screen time.  You can award it on whatever level you like, but maybe 15 minutes per activity listed here?  Or perhaps thirty minutes is more your speed.  The time doesn’t matter, but the learning experiencing of working first and then receiving the award is so valuable.

So there you have it, a few ways to keep your child from sliding back in their learning.  Just implement a few key pieces into your summer routine and you’ll be making great progress.

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