What is Summer Slide, and how can you beat it?

The Summer vacation is the perfect time to enjoy the total freedom of being young, and children benefit from the break in lots of ways. Yet it’s a well known fact that younger children in particular can lose knowledge gained in the previous year and fall behind in the year to come if they don’t actively learn over the summer. After a year of COVID related disruption, parents and teachers are more worried than ever about the effects of this vacation on children. 

 What is Summer Slide? 

Quite simply “summer slide” refers to the way in which children lose or forget core skills in Maths and English over the summer vacation, and fall behind at school as a result. Losing knowledge and confidence in these subjects usually has an impact across all subjects, and research shows that the more a child falls behind in these areas, the less likely they are to reach core learning goals in the years to come. According to a 2020 study, children in grades 3 to 6 lost an average of 20% of the gains they had made in the school year over the vacation. 

How can you beat it? 

The good news is that research also shows Summer Slide is significantly reduced or even mitigated if children keep up with their learning throughout the holiday. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sit them down for daily lessons. Parents can beat the summer slide by encouraging children to learn throughout the summer through reading, imaginative play and strategic games. The more fun the activities, the more likely children are to engage, learn and remember. This is true of any time of year, but particularly important to remember when devising educational summer activities.

  • Read - Join a local library and try some new books. Read aloud to younger children and make time for older children to read books they enjoy every day. 
  • Talk - You can extend your children’s vocabulary through conversation. Discuss the activities you are taking part in, ask questions and 
  • Play games - There are a huge range of fun, educational games on the market that will help children develop core skills whilst having fun. Traditional games such as puzzles, board games or road trip games are also a great way to develop language skills and encourage conversation as a family. 
  • Find educational materials they enjoy: If your child struggled with particular areas of learning last year it’s imperative they keep practicing over the summer. Whether it’s grammar or numeracy, find memorable books and exercises that spark the imagination. 

P.S, we believe that English grammar provides the foundation to all learning. If your child could do with a little extra help take a look at our Summer Slide Bundle and join our homeschooling community to share ideas.

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