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4 Ways to Combat the Summer (Learning) Slide

Amber Brandt  |  June 06, 2023

While students, parents, and teachers are all ready for a break when summer finally rolls around, research shows that the 2-month “brain vacation” really takes a toll on our kids.

Without the regular practice and reinforcement of being in the classroom, fresh skills and knowledge naturally fade – but it’s likely even more than you think. According to a 2020 study shared in Forbes Magazine, kids lose “up to 40% of the gains they have made over the school year while on summer break…”

The good news is there is also substantial research to suggest there’s hope. Parents can help prevent summer learning loss through fun, stimulating activities their kids already love, in just 15-30 minutes a day!

Here are 4 ways you can combat learning loss through everyday reading, math, and hands-on STEM activities all summer long:

1. Turn everyday outings into learning activities. Whether you’re spending a day at the beach, on a nature hike, or at a museum, make sure you focus on teaching moments. Don’t simply attend and observe, help your child really engage with the activity. Ask them questions, present ideas and concepts, and when you see your child light up with interest about something, lean into it more.

2. Enroll your child in a summer reading program. Kids love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from a job well done. Check out opportunities through your local chamber of commerce, library, Scholastic, or Barnes and Noble to see which free reading programs are available in your area or explore additional options. Help your child choose books that:
  • Are challenging to ensure they’re boosting their literacy skills. Left to their own judgment, kids tend toward books that are too easy for them.
  • They're excited about. If the content is of natural interest to them, they’re more likely to dive in and read.
3. Follow their interests. Standard school curriculums cover the necessary subjects – but if there’s something your child is particularly passionate about that falls outside the scope, summer is a great time to explore it. Geology, astronomy, art mediums, and live theater are all great ideas. Check community Facebook pages and even local craft stores for kits, camps, and events to help nurture these interests.

4. Practice math. Local and online bookstores offer loads of helpful workbooks to match your child’s academic level. Having your child complete just 3 to 4 math problems per day can help keep the concepts fresh in their brain.


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