Summer break is right around the corner. As parents, you are likely thinking about season passes to the pool or water park, much-anticipated family vacations and a more relaxed schedule. What you might not be thinking about is how the summer months affect your child’s learning. Often referred to as “summer slide,” there is a real danger in the loss of educational ground your children might experience during the summer months.
Think of it this way: children who are proficient in a sport spend regular time and effort practicing the necessary skills, such as batting, running, catching, or swimming. Typically, kids become better at their sport the more they practice. However, if they take a three-month break from practice, proficiency suffers. It is the same way with math and reading. During the school year, students’ minds are exercised daily. This ceases at the beginning of summer break unless children are offered enrichment activities.
Here are ten ways to avoid the summer slide:
- Read every day. Read non-fiction, fiction, eBooks, poetry, and newspapers and read out loud. For an independent reader, 20 minutes is usually a good amount of time to read. Local libraries have a wonderful summer reading program with incentives and rewards for books read over the summer.
- Cook with your children. This is one of the best ways to integrate math, reading and following directions. Let your child design the menu, too. Take pictures of your home-cooked meals, and help your child put together their favorite recipes in a cookbook.
- Plant a garden. Your child will gain responsibility and pride as they watch their plants grow and thrive.
- Learn a new word each week. Hang it on the fridge and see who can use it the most times throughout the week.
- Play quick games with flashcards like Math War or Concentration to keep math skills sharp.
- Listen to audiobooks during your summer road trip.
- Take pictures and make a summer scrapbook. Encourage your children to write narratives to accompany the pictures.
- Make time to read. It can’t be said enough; if your child does nothing else this summer make sure he/she is reading!
- Take a field trip. Head out to a museum, zoo, or local park with walking trails. Keep a journal about your travels. Visit us at Explore & More where kids will have so much fun, they won’t even know they are learning! We are open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Also, beginning Friday, July 1, 2022, Explore & More will provide FREE outdoor programming from 11:00 AM- 1:00 PM every Friday at Canalside throughout the summer. It was a HUGE success last year, and we are so thankful that Project Play and Wegmans are sponsoring our Free Play Friday series again this year!
- Enroll in a quality summer program that will provide your child with opportunities to build their critical thinking skills. Explore & More is pleased to offer weekly summer camps that spark 4- to 12-year-old children’s imagination and encourage exploration while playing and learning in the museum.
Wishing everyone a healthy and safe summer,
Senior Manager of Strategic & Community Initiatives