If you’re a teacher, you probably already know all about the summer slide. And you know that, next year, when school is back, you might have to spend up to a month re-teaching kids the skills that got drained from their brains while they were out having fun in the sun.
Good news… you can help! Next year, follow these simple tips to help your students—with a bit of help from their moms and dads—stop the summer slide before it ever happens.
Make a summer reading list
Studies have shown that reading comprehension is one of the main skills that kids lose progress in during the summer. Encourage them to read at least half an hour a day, and give them a list of suggested books they can either read on their own, or with the help of mom and dad.
Keep ‘em writing!
For students that have already picked up early writing skills, encourage them to make another student their pen pal. Sending letters, postcards, or even emails (with parental supervision) all summer long will help them keep their ELL skills sharp.
Send them off with printables
Educational printables are a great way to make summer learning fun. Especially for kids grades 3 and under, printable sheets that feel like play are ideal for helping them practice counting, letters, critical thinking, and so much more.
Help parents put together a plan
Moms and dads are the #1 resource in stopping summer brain drain. Before school lets out, print out handy articles, like this one, that explain what parents can to keep their little ones learning. Then, ask them to set up a learning schedule that carries their kids through the summer. Children respond well to structure, and parents can gamify the schedule to help children feel a growing sense of achievement as they “level” up.
Encourage new hobbies
One of the most frequently mentioned piece of advice for stopping the summer slide is encouraging little ones to pick up a new hobby. Almost anything can help instill a love of learning, from star gazing with a new telescope, to going on scavenger hunts in the park or backyard to encourage curiosity about natural sciences. Mention this to parents before school lets out!
Remember, the summer slide is real, and it can really set kids back. Research has shown that summer brain drain can result in:
- A loss of 1-3 months of academic progress, especially in math and spelling
- Up to an entire month spent re-teaching previously learned academic skills
- A cumulative gap in progress that builds each school year, helping to contribute to a measurable difference in groups of students by the time of high school graduation
Teachers, you can win the battle against brain drain! Prepare your students, and their parents, to keep the learning going all summer long. We’re here to help… keep checking the Learning Resources blog all month long for more ideas and inspiration on beating the summer slide.