The summer holiday is a much awaited break from the pressures of school and responsibility. It is a time for kids to relax, play and reset. However, their brains can do a little too much relaxing, resulting in the ‘Summer Slide’ aka a regression in their academic abilities. It is a worrying thought that your child’s hard work could be undone over the few short weeks of the summer holidays but we have put together a few tips to help you combat it.
Is the summer slide a real phenomenon?
Unfortunately, this is a real problem that needs to be addressed. In a ground breaking study in 1996, researchers found that mathematics and reading were the most affected with around a month of learning lost on average.
Do all kids get affected by summer slide?
All kids suffer some sort of regression over the summer months, but in particular the younger years are most affected. This is largely due to the fact that the amount of learning already decreases as kids get older, with the younger years being the prime age for absorbing all that knowledge at an accelerated rate.
Unfortunately, studies also show children from low-income families are affected more than those from higher income families. However, there are many ways we can start to combat our kids summer slide by keeping them busy and especially focusing on the key skills of English and math over the summer. Keep reading below for a few ways to help prevent the summer slide.
Sneak reading in at every opportunity
Don’t just stick to the summer book list… where else can you sneak in some reading? Magazines, mini research projects, recipes… let your child guide their reading material this summer. By letting your child choose their books and stories you are allowing them to feel that summer freedom but also keep their skills sharp for September. Every little helps!
Sneak math in at every opportunity
Again, recipes are a great way to practice math in real life situations… why not get creative in the kitchen with some baking?! For little learners, counting steps, flower petals, and spotting shapes when on a summer walk are a great way to help keep math knowledge strong. For older kids, budgeting how to spend some pocket money or ordering their own ice cream can strengthen their counting skills and confidence too.
Our Movie Director Mathematics game is perfect for play time. Direct mini movies whilst counting out props… the kids don’t even realise they are learning!
Go out and explore
One of the best parts of summer is the lovely weather and relaxing of our usual routines. Whether you are taking a summer vacation or can spend a little more time with your kids this summer, be happy in the fact that they will learn and have new experiences just by doing new activities. Maybe your child will try some new hobbies or crafts or see some new sights that will increase their cultural knowledge. This is all valuable in its own way!
Make time for fun (but educational) play time together
Why not assign a different activity for afternoon play. After lunch time when the sun is at it’s peak, you can practice a different STEM (Science Tech Engineering Math) activity. There are tonnes of free activities on www.pinterest.com, our blog, as well as lots of fun to be had with our educational games.
If you’re looking to get hands on whilst on vacation, our PC Maker Kit is a perfect mess free travel accessory! Less than a letter/A4 size of paper so it can slide between your summer dresses in your case. A great wind-down activity after outside play time (plus your kid will be a computer genius!).
Writing projects to keep spelling and handwriting sharp
Set a summer journaling task! Why not try writing a couple of sentences every day about your activities or even explore different themes such as trees, local wildlife or local traditions. Older kids can use this time to research and read for their projects strengthening their research skills. Younger kids can practice spelling and handwriting by writing about their day.
Our Story Creations game is great for storytelling, but it can also be used as story writing prompts. Use the flash cards as a starting point for your summer stories. Add drawings and make it into your own mini story book for a great longer-term summer project.
Plan DIY activities
Over the years at OjO we have developed tonnes of free DIY activities which combing learning and fun all rolled into one! Be sure to sign up for your free resources below. You’ll also get a 30% discount off your first order, so you can kick start your educational game collection this summer!