For those of us of a certain generation, the term “summer slide” brings memories of a piece of playground equipment, baking in the hot sun, and our parent’s advice to avoid the slide until the sun had moved on and the surface of the slide was cool again. But that’s not what it means today. Now we know that during the summer months, some skills and concepts introduced to a young learner, but not yet mastered, can begin to slip away. Summer slide, however, is entirely preventable with just a few simple strategies.
First and foremost, read with your child. Read every day. Perhaps your child’s teacher can provide a list of books to keep your young learner on track, or most certainly, your public librarian can help. But read!
Next, create a family “new word of the week.” Make it something fun, like “whirlwind.” Print the word, and hang it somewhere noticeable in your home. Talk about the meaning of the word. Challenge your child and other family members to incorporate the word into sentences.
Third, play games that require thinking skills. For example, card games like Concentration or Math Wars help young children exercise their brains while having fun at the same time. Plus, it’s a great way for the family to enjoy time together.
Fourth, share a project with your child. Cook together, plant and tend a garden, create a scrapbook of summer memories, anything to engage your child’s interest and continue to build on existing brain connections.
And finally, read. We can’t emphasize that enough. And when school resumes in the fall, your child will be ready, willing, and able to master new skills and concepts