5 Tips to Prevent Summer Slide

5 Tips to Prevent Summer Slide

How can you help your child overcome summer learning loss?

By Marc Waters, M. Ed.

Summer is the perfect time for children of all ages to relax, but it’s also a time when summer loss can occur. This loss of learning is called “summer slide” and happens when children do not engage in positive educational activities during their summer vacation.

Children, K-5, lose an average of two months in reading achievement over the summer, causing them to fall almost three grade levels behind their peers by the time they reach the fifth grade. Find out how caregivers and parents can support learning while schools are out for summer vacation.

Doug Sikkema (Tweet): My wife just started "Tea, Toast, and Tolkien" time for our kids... where they make Early Grey Tea, butter toast, and listen to her read aloud Lord of the Rings. #Summerbreak

Make reading a priority

Encouraging children to read during summer break can stave off summer learning loss and keep their minds sharp. Reading exposes them to new ideas, different perspectives, and diverse cultures. Make reading a family activity and initiate discussions by asking open-ended questions.

Embrace summer learning programs

Combat summer slide with local programming from community centers like the YMCA, libraries, and interactive summer camps. These programs make learning fun and exciting as children explore various subjects.

Embark on educational adventures

Museums, science centers, historical landmarks, and the local zoo offer valuable opportunities for children to ask questions, actively engage with exhibits, and share what they have learned. These places offer discounts for children and some offer free admission days. Whether your child is passionate about music, motorsports, art, dinosaurs, or space, there is an Alabama museum for them.

Enhance summer learning with educational media

Integrate interactive games and shows into summer learning activities. Encourage your children to explore the resources below based on their interests and grade level.


Foster hands-on learning

Hands-on activities promote critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. All are essential when it comes to preventing summer slide. Motivate children to pursue activities that align with their interests, such as building with LEGOs, cooking, doing arts and crafts, or trying out new science experiments. Below are some resources and ideas for some hands-on learning. 

Below are additional resources to help overcome the summer slide effect:

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