Ever hear of “summer slide”? It’s a phenomena that has been happening for …. well, forever. It is the fact that students seem to lose a degree of their reading comprehension abilities, math skills and other content knowledge over the long summer break from school. You can blame the scorch of the sun or the chlorine in the pool, or you can read the research behind why it happens, but the real question is what can you do to stop it?
The answer is pretty simple, really. Keep your child using those skills! Even just a few minutes a day with a book or in math practice will do the trick – and my parent blog can help! Check the resources section for posts about lots of different programs, many of which are FREE, that you can use at home to keep your child from losing the progress he or she has made over the last year. One place I’d recommend starting is with the Achieve 3000 Summer Reading Contest, where your child could win an iPad mini in addition to keeping their reading comprehension skills sharp! All Southwest Parke students that just finished grades 3-12 already have accounts that will remain active through the summer months. Students in grades K-6 and some Jr-Sr high students also have IXL accounts that will remain available throughout the summer, giving them easy access to unlimited math practice. ALEKS account expiration dates vary greatly, but your child might be able to continue using this amazing program as well.
If your child isn’t too excited about the idea of continuing the work they were doing in school, make it more fun! Go to the library and let him or her pick out some books. No pressure, no test… just reading for the love of reading. It will go a long way if you model that love of reading too, Mom and Dad! And there are tons of great math gaming websites that will have your kid begging to practice math skills without even realizing it! For starters, check out www.hoodamath.com or the Sushi Monster iPad app.
So… have a great summer full of family fun, but don’t forget to take a few minutes each day to keep those skills sharp. You’ll be amazed at the difference when next school year starts.
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Want to know more? Here are some articles to help you prevent academic loss in your son or daughter this summer!