If you’ve never heard of the summer slide, it’s all too real and is something that happens to students nationwide as the school year ends and summer sets in. With kids being home from school all summer, it often becomes a time where they spend excessive time watching TV or in front of a tablet. Because students go through unstructured periods during the summer, this contributes to their content skills undergoing a slide backward. We need activities that prevent summer slide!
During this summer slide, students tend to lose about two months of what they learned the previous school year. During this time, students do not get the practice or routine needed to retain the information they have been learning during the school year. Thankfully they tend to bounce back pretty quickly once the school year begins, but wouldn’t it be great if we could prevent the summer slide from happening altogether?
My checklist template freebie is perfect for teachers to send home with their students to prevent the summer slide. Several of my TPT resources are also engaging learning resources that can make academics fun and low-risk this summer.
Let’s take a look!
Reading is one of the most negatively impacted subjects each year. Thankfully, there are several ways to continue practicing reading this summer.
Consider using your local library as a free resource to help students continue reading. If you don’t have the luxury of taking off and driving your child to the library this summer, you can also have them go online to Get Epic, where they can select books just as they would at the library. Students will be able to read the books they choose online.
What should reading look like?
The recommendation is for students to read about 15-20 minutes per day, 5-6 times per week, depending on their age. Sometimes we equate reading as something that children only do in the evening before bed, but it’s essential to encourage your child to read during the day too. Because students are more awake during the day, they’re more likely to engage more critically during this time. Even though this is the case, we still want them to read for fun.
They spend most of their time reading to learn during the school year. Let this be when they fall in love with reading and choose books that interest them. And by all means, snuggle up and read with them at bedtime too! Reading before bed can help children wind down from their day. It also builds a connection between children and their parents.
These tips are easy ways to avoid the reading summer slide.
Writing may be an area that seems a little more challenging to plan for, but I promise it isn’t! Journaling is an easy way to have children practice their writing skills without any added pressure. I like to give my kids a composition notebook and have them write for 5-10 minutes about anything they want. For students in K-2, it is entirely acceptable for them to draw pictures and label them or write short sentences to accompany their illustrations.
Older kids may enjoy writing letters as well. They can write letters to their family members or friends. This is an excellent way for them to practice writing to a specific audience.
Penmanship is another activity to work on during the summer. Handwriting activities are perfect for this. This resource featured in my TPT shop allows students to practice writing in cursive, which they love! Also, consider looking for handwriting activity books at your local bookshop.
Just as we want to read for fun, we also want to write for fun.
Grammar goes right alongside reading and writing. To prevent a summer slide in grammar, consider having your child practice using punctuation and capital letters in writing and building their vocabulary.
Playing games is a fun way to practice all three of these skills. My grammar games are low-risk games that are self-checking. For only 15 minutes a day, students can play games that help them stay current with grammar skills.
They’re easy and fun!
It’s crucial to prevent the math summer slide. Students tend to lose math skills quickly; it’s a lot like learning a language. The less often students interact with math content, the faster they forget it. Prodigy is a great online tool for practicing math, which allows your child to play digital math games to practice.
If you’d rather your child get away from the screen – I get it! – my math games are a fun resource.
I love using these games during summer because they lessen anxiety for your child. As your child solves the problems, don’t stress about a strategy. As long as students find the solution, it doesn’t matter how they went about it.
Focus on helping your child persevere and problem-solve instead of following a specific strategy.
Students don’t have to experience the well-known summer slide. Even if you don’t have much extra time to spend with your child this summer, finishing 10-15 minutes per day practicing math, reading, and other content skills can be enough.
Remember, learning doesn’t have to be through planned activities either!
Additional Activities That Prevent Summer Slide
Summer is a great time to focus on the home skills that you wouldn’t typically focus on during the school year. You can find learning opportunities in regular activities you may do during the summer. By baking brownies and cookies or a pizza, your child is practicing math, reading, and some science too! Gardening is also a way for students to practice reading and measurement while learning about science.
Also, consider how you can help students become more responsible this summer. Use a checklist to help students learn more about chores. Teach them to organize their area, practice good hygiene, button their pants, tie their shoes, and use manners. Even experiences at the park help develop their muscles and social skills. These are vital for thriving in the school environment once the summer ends.
Say no to the summer slide this summer. You can use the activities that prevent summer slide by being consistent and present for your kids this summer. Following this checklist of ideas, you can implement meaningful, fun activities to keep learning lighthearted yet meaningful.
Looking for another activity to help your students embrace summer and reduce screentime? This summertime BINGO board found in my prior blog post here is a fun way for students to make memories and experience all that summertime has to bring without a screen.
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