Many children who are not engaged in learning activities during the summer find they have forgotten things or fall behind their peers at the beginning of a new school year.

By Staci Jackson, M.A., CCC-SLP (edited by Wendi Ostroff)

Summer learning loss or “the summer slide” is the phenomenon that occurs when children forget academic material after taking long breaks from school.

So, what can you do to prevent the “summer slide”? Here are some simple ideas to keep your child engaged in learning during the summer months.

  • Encourage your child to read 20 minutes every day. Public libraries are great resources for summer reading lists by age/grade level, offer reading incentive programs and other activities for the whole family.
  • Read to your child to build listening skills, engage the imagination, and increase vocabulary. Can read to children of all ages.
  • Limit technology and give your child time to read and escape the heat of the day. Be a role model and grab a book to read also.
  • Keep books in the car for your child. Listen to audiobooks on long trips. Public libraries have a wide selection of these as well.
  • Encourage math skills by creating number books of things you collect or do during the summer.
  • Practice estimation skills by guessing how far and how long a road trip will be. Have children compute arrival times and miles covered.
  • Provide math workbooks with activities to complete on road trips or during quiet times.
  • Encourage your child to keep a reading log and calculate the minutes read each week.
  • Start a coin jar and collect coins they can count, sort, and save.
  • Cook with your child. Have your child follow recipes to learn fractions and practice measurement skills.
  • Encourage your child to practice writing skills by writing letters to relatives, sending postcards from camp, keeping a summer journal, writing a book, or authoring an online blog.