Summer is an important time for children and parents to relax and enjoy some extra time together but what happens when children go back to school in the fall? The summer academic slide happens when children lose knowledge, especially in math and reading, during the summer. Because summers are relaxed and most families don’t have many educational activities, kids often return to school with some loss of learning. There are some fun things you can do to avoid the summer academic slide.
KEEP THEM READING
15-20 minutes a day of reading aloud or reading together with your child will greatly improve their chances of retaining their reading comprehension skills. Let them pick books that are silly and fun, books they will really enjoy. Make summer reading a fun activity, not an assignment.
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Join a reading program
There are many summer reading programs that are fun for kids.
- Your Local Public Library will usually offer a summer reading challenge, some even have prizes.
- Barnes and Noble has a great reading program as well (the kids get a free book when they complete it)
- Scholastic Summer Reading allows your child to track their reading and play fun games. They can even read ebooks on the site.
- Books A Million will give children a gift once they complete their reading challenge.
- Pizza Hut’s Book It program has a summer program too. When your child reaches their monthly goal they get a coupon for a personal-sized pizza.
If you will be on the road and don’t want to lug around a bunch of books you can grab a Kindle Unlimited membership for the summer – get 2 months for FREE – Click HERE.
Get them a fun digital bookmark timer that they can use to independently track their reading time. Create a fun at-home reward system for reading. One of our children was a bit more reluctant to read so they earned $1 every time they read a chapter book.
Finding fun ways to practice mental math, memorizing times tables, or doing tricky formulas can be hard. I’ve found a few resources that might work for your child (without feeling too much like schoolwork)
If you have older kids Sudoku is a great way to have them practice mental math skills and it’s pretty addictive too!
Wonderland Math was designed to help 2nd-5th graders develop their math skills through live, online lessons and an interactive learning experience with a story-based curriculum and Common Core aligned math games. Because the classes are online your child can learn from anywhere. Find out more and get your first month of personal math tutoring for just $49.
This math game is a great way to help your kids retain their mental math skills over the summer. It has 3 different modes and 8 levels.
ENCOURAGE THEM TO WRITE
Find them a pen pal
I had 2 pen pals when I was in elementary school. I loved coming home to find a letter from them in my mailbox. Having a pen pal will encourage them to use their writing (and reading) skills during the summer.
If you’re not into physical mail, find them a pen pal that they can email. Maybe they can write letters to a grandparent, classmate, or even their teacher. You can even find an international pen pal by asking close friends if they know of a family overseas or asking at a local church to see if they have any missionary children that might like a pen pal. It’s a great way to learn about other countries and cultures too.
Try a guided journal for Mom & Me
This journal was created for boys ages 8-12. There is also an option for girls. Guided journals make writing fun and easy by including helpful prompts. Some even include fun coloring pages or activities.
PLAY EDUCATIONAL GAMES
There are so many great games available that are loads of fun but educational at the same time. Some great options are below:
This is a fast-paced math game for children ages 9-109 (but it can be adapted for younger children). I love that parents can easily play with their children but it can also be played solo.
This is another fun math game for ages 8-12. There are multiple ways to play this game and it can easily be played online with friends.
This is a super fun online game for children ages 8-13. Kids can have a fun time learning math, science, language arts, and social study. Get your first 30 days FREE by clicking HERE.
This is a fun activity to do as a family. Pick a topic to memorize. You might try to memorize past presidents’ names, the periodic table, scriptures or poems, or the multiplication table.
SIGN UP FOR AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
These are some of our favorite activities. There are so many programs locally or programs that will deliver activities right to your door. Check with your local community college, library, parks, or community centers to see if they offer any in-person activities. Our local park has lots of great science programs and the library offers something for most age groups.
Participate in summer programs at your local library
Most libraries have educational activities throughout the summer. Visit your local library’s website to see what they are offering.
Craftsy offers 1,500+ classes that you and your child can take over the summer. They have an amazing deal right now. You can sign up for just $2.49 total ($79.99 value)! Click HERE to get the deal. (we upgraded for $9 to the Gold membership to get even more classes!) You can’t beat $2.49 for a whole YEAR of crafting classes! They offer a huge variety of classes:
- Cake Decorating
- Home Decor
- Jewelry Making
- Paper Crafting
- Weaving + Spinning
There are many programs out there but we are huge fans of Kiwi Crate. Their activities are fun and engaging with a focus on STEM & STEAM learning. Doing activities like a Kiwi Crate project are great ways for your children to practice following instructions and problem solve. Check out Kiwi Crate HERE.
For your Pre-K, Kindergarten, or 1st grader, Highlights has a new program to help supplement children’s education over the summer. Highlights (yes those fun kids activity magazines you had as a child) now has a new at home learning program called “15 Minutes a Day to School Success”. Each month you will receive 2 skill-based workbooks, a bonus activity book, a certificate of completion, and a fun progress tracker. Read more and get your first Highlights success box for just $4.95 (plus free shipping).
Hooked on Phonics (and spelling!) is a monthly subscription program that gives you unlimited access to their Learn to Read app.
You will receive:
- 2-3 books that reinforce the lessons learned.
- Discussion questions about each book designed to strengthen reading comprehension.
- Celebration stickers to reward reading milestones
- Tips & ideas on how to extend the learning at home and on the go
Little Passports is a great program to help your children learn about the world around them. Every month they will receive age-appropriate activity kits.
I hope these ideas help you work with your children during the summer to help them avoid the summer slide.