With August here parents and children are turning their thoughts towards school. Education is right around the corner! For a lot of children, summer has been a vacation away not only from school, but also from learning. Educators have been talking about what they call “summer slide”.
The summer slide takes place when students do not have access or the opportunity to participate in summer learning activities. These activities can range from actively reading to participating in educational summer camps. The summer slide disproportionately affects students from lower-income families and communities. If students aren’t actively stimulating their brains during summer, they can head back into school 1 to 2 months behind! We want no child to be behind in their education.
Here is what the National Summer Learning Association has to say about this growing achievement gap:
The two important subjects to reinforce during the summer are reading and math skills. Here are some simple ways to keep your child’s brain active:
- Encourage reading for fun. Reading shouldn’t just be for nerds or bookworms. Let your child know that books are a wonderful escape on a summer day. Take trips to the library or read together as a family. Work with your children to help them find genres they enjoy.
- Play games together. Puzzles and board games utilize critical thinking skills and encourage team work. Games they might already play such as uno, mancala, or dominos work with numbers. Don’t be afraid to look for little twists to the game that can use more math skills. Or research math games online! Some are so fun they won’t realize they are using addition or subtraction.
- Look for community learning opportunities. Not all families are able to send their children to educational camps, and that is okay! Your community or neighboring communities might have free events for you and your family. Look for free or discounted museum days. Perhaps there is a movie night that showcases educational films.