10 Tips for Avoiding the Academic Summer Slide
Keep Them Reading
Studies have shown that kids can lose up to 25 percent of their reading skills over the summer months, which can have a significant impact on their ability to get back into the school swing in the fall. A report at mLive shows that income disparity widens the reading gap over the summer even more. Children in low-income households consistently lose more than two months of reading ability each summer, while children in middle to upper-income homes may remain steady or actually gain skills during vacation.
- Find something to read every day. Encourage kids to read the comics in the newspaper every morning, or online resources while playing on the computer.
- Find things your kids want to read. Ask the librarian at your local library for recommendations based on your child’s age, reading level or interests. Peruse book lists at the Scholastic website or from your child’s school. Kids who like what they are reading are sure to read more.
- Read out loud. Ask your child to read a paragraph from his current book to you at night, or read to him before bed. Children of all ages – including teens – can benefit from hearing books read aloud to them, especially children who are currently struggling with their own reading skills.
- Encourage students to take math or science-related jobs that will help them refine their academic abilities while learning important job skills.
- Look for summer camps that utilize skills learned in math, such as robotics or space camps.
- Encourage a student to tutor others in math subjects he has already mastered.
- Help struggling students find remedial summer work they can do to improve their own skills.
- Find ways to add math to daily activities, such as calculating the volume of water in the city pool.
- Let teens get in on the trip-planning action, by setting a budget, calculating fuel needs or figuring the distance between destinations.
Research places you will be visiting over the summer.
From discovering silly laws to exploring the geography and culture of the area, this activity encourages students to read and learn while getting them excited about upcoming trips.
Set aside time to work on academic skills every day.
Give your family one-half hour every day to read, work math problems or indulge in fun activities like brain teasers or crossword puzzles. If the whole family gets involved, the children may not mind the thinking part of the activity quite as much.
Collect books or games for children to enjoy in the car.
Instead of playing on electronic devices, entice kids on road trips with Mad-Libs, comic books and games specifically designed for the road. Use time in the car to talk with your kids as well, or play old-fashioned games like the license plate game as a family.
In addition to these tips, Lovell recommends limiting time in front of video games and television, even during the summer months. Give them alternative activities that inspire the imagination, and your children’s minds are sure to grow throughout summer vacation time!