Typically, when we hear the words summer and slide in the same sentence we imagine a sunshine filled playground where kids are laughing and playing. That is the summer slide that most of us are familiar with but there is another type of summer slide that you need to watch out for and it’s not a fun piece of playground equipment. The type of summer slide that I am referring to is the backward slide that kids often experience during summer break.
Summer slide can occur to any of our kids whether they are homeschooled or attend a traditional brick and mortar school when a long break in education is taken. When education is not a focus it is easy for kids to fall behind in reading and math and it will make it harder to catch up when they head back to school in the fall.
So how can we prevent our kids from experiencing the “summer slide”? The easiest way to prevent our kids from sliding backward is to give them plenty of opportunities to practice their skills during summer break. Weekly trips to the library to stock up on reading material is a great way to keep kids reading all summer long. Most library’s offer reading programs where kids can earn prizes for reading a certain number of books throughout the summer. Make reading a part of your summertime routine and see how many chapter books you can read as a family. One of our favorite places to read is around a campfire, it provides the perfect ambiance for so many great books.
While reading is one of the areas kids experience the most drastic slide math is another area that can be problematic. I know your kids are not going to want to spend their summer vacation working on math worksheets but there are lots of other ways to practice math skills. One way is to get them involved with the grocery shopping perhaps have them plan out a meal and stay within a budget you provide them. This is a great way for them to practice basic math skills as well as critical thinking skills. Something we do in our home is I write an interesting math problem on our white board and whoever solves it correctly can win a special treat.
Overall the best way to prevent the summer slide is to not take a break from education during the summer months. Summer vacation should be a time for your kids to rest and relax but there is a variety of ways to keep their minds active so they do not lose the skills they have learned. Think outside of the box and come up with different ways to test their skills in a way that doesn’t seem like school work. At the end of the summer, you will be rewarded with kids who are refreshed and ready to tackle the oncoming school year.