The summer is winding down. How have you spent these warm weeks? On a family vacation? Taking walks in the park, playing at the beach? Going to festivals or amusement parks? How about reading together or doing a handful of math problems with your child once a day?
Don’t let the summer end without helping your child beat the Summer Slide. There is still plenty of time to prepare for the coming school year.
The Summer Slide refers to how over the summer months young people lose academic skills and progress gained over the school year. The Summer Slide particularly affects children of low-income families. During the summer, low-income students lose on average more than two months of reading achievement. By the end of fifth grade, low-income children are nearly three grade equivalents behind their higher-income peers in reading.
So, what can be done to defy these statistics and be prepared for the coming school year? Take a trip to the library and take out a number of books you can read together. Find books covering a range of topics from fiction to nonfiction. Spend at least 20 minutes a day reading these books together. It can be before bed, in the morning, during lunch or while in the waiting room of a doctor or dentist. Why not spend a summer afternoon reading outside in the shade of a tree?
Reading doesn’t have to be from a book. During breakfast you can read the back of a cereal box together. You can even use this time to discuss the nutritional information and talk about healthy eating. While you are driving you can read road signs. You can go over shapes and colors of the signs with younger children as well.
The summer is a great time to get children outside and active. You can create reading games, such as a vocabulary scavenger hunt. Label items throughout your yard or hide certain words in the trees and bushes. Have you child run about finding all the words and then use them to create sentences and stories. They are active and learning at the same time!
It doesn’t take much time to help your child to be prepared to start school. Reading with them for at least 20 minutes a day is a simple way to help fight the Summer Slide.