Have you heard about summer slide? I honestly thought people were talking about that metal thing on the playground! Well, apparently I was sorely mistaken! In fact, it is something that happens to your kids during summer break from school. It happens in children who do not read over the summer. Not only will they lose up to three months of learning, but the learning loss caused by summer slide is cumulative. What shocked me was how quickly this can happen with your children. For my daughter, reading is where we will see the largest summer slide while for my son, it is with his math and problem solving.
Statistically, your child will score higher on reading-comprehension tests in the fall if they ready just 4 books over the summer! Sadly, teachers will spend between 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching material students have forgotten over the summer. If a child is in a lower socioeconomic level, Summer Slide accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between themselves and their middle and upper-income peers. If you have a child in the 3rd grade who does not read or play some sort of learning games over the summer, they are four times less likely to graduate by age 18. That is downright horrifying. What is probably the most troubling fact is this summer slide is actually quite easy to prevent.
- Read: Take your kids to the library! Most libraries have summer reading programs to get them engages and excited about summer reading. For older kids, let them download free books on their mobile device. My daughter downloads 3-4 books a week on her iPad during the summer.
- Download Educational Games: Make learning fun for your kids. There are a ton of free apps you can download on your smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. Games range from math to reading to critical thinking and problem solving, all of which will prevent summer slide.
- Hands on Games: Many kids are tactical, or hands on learners. Both of my kids are tactile learners, so doing things like playing games, using flash cards, using their stylus pen to take notes, all prevent that dreaded summer slide.
Henry is the big thinker in our house. He is very into puzzles and mazes. He loves a great challenge. I am sure this is in part because I am like that as well and partly because he has autism. Kids with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum, are critical thinkers. I received two education toys from Learning Resources that were right up Henry’s alley when it comes to learning. After he opened up both toys, he lay on his bed for hours playing with them!
Create-a-Maze™: This brain-boosting, make-you-think game is perfect for preventing summer slide! Kids can build a maze with curvy, colorful pieces by following the designs pictured on the Activity Cards. They will put their hand-eye coordination to the test as they map a path through the maze, tilting the board and guiding the ball around the obstacles and into the goal. It’s a one-of-a-kind challenge that revs up engineering and critical thinking skills. Endless combinations of designs provide multiple levels of play. You can grab Create-a-Maze™ from Learning Resources for $29.99.
Tumble Trax™ Magnetic Marble Run: Henry had a blast flexing his critical thinking skills with Tumble Trax™! Kids create your unique marble run with long, short, and curved magnetic pieces—then. They drop the marble from the highest point to see their design come to life! They can use their imagination to make runs or use the designs pictured on the Activity Cards. Tumble Trax™ is just $24.99 from Learning Resources.
How do you keep your child off the summer learning slide?