Hooray! It’s summertime! School is out and kids are free to play and just be kids! But wait…this is not just any summer! This is the summer in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why does that matter? This school year was cut short for almost all students by at least 3 months. That is 1/3 of the school year! Although the schools and teachers scrambled to offer some type of educational services virtually and/or through packets mailed to students, educational instruction and progress took a major hit and a significant number of students will show skill regression in the fall when school begins again.
Even in the best of times, 100% of students experience summer learning loss if they don’t engage in educational learning activities over the summer. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 25% of academic learning is lost by children over summer vacation. This number would be expected to increase following the tremendous loss of instruction this year.
The “Summer Slide” is the phrase used to describe the slide backwards that many children normally make in reading and math skills over the summer months when school is not in session. Numerous studies show that kids who don’t practice educational skills during summer vacation actually lose up to 3 months by the time autumn rolls around. It takes teachers 4-6 weeks to reteach material that has been lost over the summer.
**You can combat summer slide by encouraging your child to devote a small bit of time each day to keeping up skills. Just like with playing a sport, Reading and Math are skills that must be practiced… It is important to keep your child’s mind engaged over the summer so they will not fall victim to the summer slide.”
According to Little Scholars here are “ 10 things you can do to help your child avoid the summer slide: https://littlescholarsllc.wordpress.com/10-ways-to-prevent-summer-slide/
- Read EVERY day! Read non-fiction, fiction, ebooks, poetry, newspapers and read out loud! For most children, twenty minutes is an appropriate amount of time to read for a child who is an independent reader. Most libraries have a wonderful summer reading program with incentives and rewards for books read over the summer.
- Cook with your children. This is one of the best ways to integrate math, reading and following directions. Let your child design the menu too! Help your child put together their favorite recipes in a cookbook.
- Plant a garden. Your child will gain responsibility and pride as they watch their plants grow and thrive.
- Take a field trip to a museum, zoo or local park with walking trails. Keep a journal about your travels.
- Learn a new word each week! Hang it on the fridge and see who can use it the most times throughout the week.
- Enroll in a quality summer program that will provide your child with opportunities to build their critical thinking skills.
- Play quick games with flashcards like Math War or Concentration to keep math skills sharp.
- Listen to Audio Books during your road trip.
- Take pictures and make a summer scrapbook.
- Did I mention READ?!If your child does nothing else this summer make sure he/she is reading!
Great News! Bluebee Pals are a wonderful way to encourage summer reading and combat the Summer Slide! Kids love to be connected! By reading their favorite book apps with Bluebee Pals and online reading sites for 20 to 30 minutes a day, your child can maintain and improve reading skills over the summer! They make excellent reading buddies! www.bluebeepals.com
Suggested Summer Reading Sites:
*Storyline Online by SAG-AFTRA Foundation is an award-winning children’s literacy app that features celebrated actors reading children’s books.
*Little Stories Pro by Little Bee Speech features eighty-two 100 word stories that support reading fluency, comprehension, receptive and expressive language skills.
*Reading Comprehension Camp by Smarty Ears is specifically designed to encourage language growth and comprehension. Contains 50 stories on multiple levels and comprehension quizzes.
*Epic! – Kids’ Books and Videos by Epic! Creations Inc is a leading digital library for kids with instant, unlimited access to 35,000 high-quality ebooks, audiobooks, learning videos and quizzes for children 12 and under. There is a monthly subscription plan for home and a free plan for educators.
*HOMER Reading: Learn to Read by Homer is a personalized reading program for kids 2-8. This award-winning app has been proven to increase early reading scores by 74% with just 15 minutes a day. There is a monthly subscription plan for home, and a free plan for educators.