6 Easy Ways to Help Your Child Avoid The Summer Slide
As parents, we work hard throughout the school year to make sure our children are staying on top of their schoolwork and grasping the concepts they’re being taught. Then many of us go into summer on a wing and a prayer just hoping our kids don’t lose ground and can pick up where they left off in the fall. Fortunately, there are some fun and easy ways parents can keep their kids engaged in learning throughout the summer:
Encouraging your child to read
Reading doesn’t have to be a chore.
- Hang a couple of hammocks in the yard and designate them the “family reading hammocks.” Lead by example and climb up in the hammock with a good book now and then and encourage your child to do the same.
- Take frequent trips to the local library. Ask the librarian for popular recommendations for your child’s age. Stock up on library books for your summer trips. Participate in the library’s summer reading program.
- Don’t get out of the habit of reading aloud to your child. If you’re not in the habit, summer is a great time to start! Climb into those hammocks, put a blanket out at the park or under a tree in your yard, read around the campfire or when you’re putting your child to bed at night. Not only does this activity promote connection and give you and your child a way to unwind or hit the reset button in the middle of a busy day, but children who struggle with reading benefit greatly from hearing books read aloud.
Encourage your child to use their math skills
Are you concerned about your child regressing in math during the summer? Follow these tips to keep their skills sharp:
- Enroll your child in a STEM camp where they can use math and science skills to program robots, launch rockets and do other fun experiments!
- If your child excels at math, talk to them about volunteering as a math tutor during the summer months. Remind older children that volunteer work is always good resume material!
- Involve your child in vacation planning. Have them calculate approximately how many gallons of fuel you’ll use and how much that fuel will cost. Have them factor in the cost of lodging and activities and challenge them to work within your family’s budget to help plan a memorable summer vacation.
Incentivize your child to complete academic workbooks
Workbooks are a particularly good idea if your child is struggling in a certain subject area and you want to help them boost their skills. Spectrum, Scholastic and ABCMouse are a few reputable resources that offer workbooks in a variety of subject areas.
Odds are, your child probably won’t be thrilled about working through these books during their “off-season” but incentives go a long way! Have them designate their favorite store at the beginning of the summer. Then give your child the opportunity to earn a certain amount of money for each workbook they complete. At the end of the summer, let them cash in their earnings for a gift card to that store.
Set aside a certain time of day for structured learning
If you’re planning to implement academic booster material during the summer months, set aside a certain time of the day for this structured learning. Your child will appreciate knowing what to expect instead of having “summer school” sprung on them when they’re busy running around the neighborhood with their friends. You’ll also notice that your child is much more motivated when they know that, if they work on their math workbook for an hour each morning, for example, they’ll have the rest of the day to bike, play in the neighborhood with friends, etc.
Summer Vacation Ideas:
Play road trip games
When you set out on your cross-country trip this summer, offer your child engaging alternatives to screens. Bust out some classics you enjoyed as a child like Mad Libs and the license plate game and find tons of printables online! Websites like tripsavvy and frugalfamilytimes offer dozens of free and fun printables! Want to go the extra mile? 3-hole punch the activities, put them in sleeves and snap them into a binder. Snap in a 3-hole punched pencil bag and load it with wipe-off board markers and an eraser so your child can reuse their activity sheets throughout your vacation.
Encourage your child to write postcards
With all of today’s digital communication methods, it’s uncommon to receive handwritten letters and postcards. Surprise friends and loved ones by encouraging your child to pick up postcards at fun stops along your vacation route, write them out and drop them in the nearest mailbox. (Tip: Keep it easy. Pick up postcard stamps before your trip and bring them along.)
You can also buy your child a journal to take along with them on vacation and record all the fun things you do!
Are you concerned about your child losing academic ground this summer? LearningRx has a number of programs that can help keep your child’s cognitive and academic skills strong. Contact us on our website or take our free Brain Quiz to learn more!