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Summer slide, or summer learning loss, is a term educators use to explain a student’s loss in reading and other academic skills during the summer. Almost every student experiences some form a summer slide; to what degree depends on what they did over their summer break. Teachers expect this slide and plan for it when starting the new year. But, there are things you can do to help prevent this from happening. Here are three ways to keep your kids brains sharp over summer.
Reading Every Day
Reading is one of the best ways to help keep your kid’s brains sharp over summer. Not only does reading help keep up your child’s reading skill level but reading new things can help them learn in other subjects, too. Beyond any required summer reading, you should encourage your kids to read books on any topics that interest them. Reading is the best way to engage the mind. Making it fun for them is the best way to get them to do it every day that they can.
Tips to Make Reading Fun
Complete a Reading Challenge
Some kids thrive on a challenge, and if yours is one who does, they will love to help you create a summer reading challenge. The key is that is should be fun. If they show signs of not wanting to participate, simply stop the challenge. Make sure there is a fun reward at the end.
Act it Out
Help them to act out a scene from their favorite story. Use whatever is in the house for props and costumes.
Audio Books Are Cool
Let them listen to audio books. When the book is through, have them illustrate their favorite part of the story.
Fun Hands-On Activities
The very best way to prevent summer slide is with hands-on activities. Ditch the workbooks and endless worksheets and opt for some fun hands-on learning activities. The awesome thing about hands-on activities is that you can get super creative with them.
1. Cook together: Find some easy recipes kids can make by themselves and with you.
2. Make slime: You can use all kinds of mathematics and science words with this activity.
3. Grow a garden.
4. Go on virtual field trips
5. DIY Summer Science Camp
6. Make a scrapbook (paper or digital) about your family adventures.
7. Plan an imaginary cross country road trip using maps (paper) and Google to locate stops along the way, calculate travel time, and see interesting things.
8. Build a Lego Structure
9. Create a board game complete with rules and then play it.
10. Conduct science experiments.
Visit Museums and Other Educational Venues
Summertime is one of the busiest times to visit museums and other educational venues, but it’s also one of the best. You can prevent summer slide but taking advantage of any free days that local venues may have. Zoos, recreation centers, and libraries often have educational classes that kids can take over the summer. These are made fun so that kids can enjoy their summer but also keep their brains sharp over the summer break. Campgrounds are often educational as well. These can help teach kids life and survival skills, as well as science and natural history. The problem-solving skills required during many camping activities can help keep the brain working as it would during the school years. But your kids can focus on the fun and excitement of the events.
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