It’s July, summer is in full swing and kids are having fun! This is certainly the time of year for beachy days, swimming and more warm-weather fun, but it also tasks parents with fighting the “summer slide”—a decline in learning and academic skills that some kids might experience during the summer break. The good news is, there are many ways to fight summer learning loss, from setting weekly reading goals to visiting zoos and museums, and so much more.
Fight Summer Learning Loss by Reading
One of the easiest and most productive ways to prevent the summer slide is by reading. Kids can read a book almost anywhere during the summer, whether on road trips, at the beach or at home.
Check out Staten Island Parent’s round-up of new books for young readers to enjoy this summer, from picture books to novels and everything in between.
Malissa Parks, an educator and children’s book author, explained the importance of engaging in educational activities during summer, especially when it comes to reading.
“By keeping children engaged in educational activities throughout the summer, parents can help prevent learning loss and ensure that their children continue to grow academically,” she said.
Reading isn’t always a kid’s favorite thing to do, especially when school is out, but Parks shared some ways parents can encourage their kids to grab a book, including:
- Set a weekly reading goal
- Create a reading schedule
- Let kids choose their own books
- Make reading a family activity (You can even read Staten Island Parent together!)
Parks suggested some online resources, too. These include ABC Mouse for pre-k and first graders and Gracie’s Corner for songs that teacher grades two to five. Also, poetry and journaling and similar confidence-building activities can make students think and challenge themselves over the summer, she says.
Fight Summer Learning Loss by Writing
Another great activity for preventing the summer slide is writing. In fact, the New York Public Library just launched its Summer Writing Contest, which is great for creative kids who love to write stories.
The focus of the contest is pretty cool, too: What would happen if the Statue of Liberty came to life and set out to explore New York City. Where does she go? Who does she meet? What does she eat? There are so many ways for Lady Liberty to enjoy NYC, and the library wants to hear about them!
First prizes will be awarded to one winner each from the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Winning entries will be published in the 2024 edition of Portal, the NYPL’s magazine for kids, and their authors will also receive a special writer’s tool kit. Check out the website for information on how to enter the contest.
Other Ways to Prevent the Summer Slide
Learn4Life, a network of non-profit public schools that provides students with personalized learning, offers these additional tips for parents and students to fight summer learning loss all throughout the season:
- Keep a journal. It’s a great way to remember how you were feeling, track growth and remember the small things while keeping your writing practice going.
- Try a daily puzzle like sudoku or Wordle to keep your mind active.
- Make learning fun by reading outdoors at the beach or park, and plan visits to museums, libraries and cultural events.
- Let kids choose what they want to read, even magazines and comic books to help them develop a love of reading.
- Encourage kids to read the newspaper and current events magazines to keep up the reading habit over the summer and develop vocabulary.
- Set a social media time limit. Try to give yourself a daily limit to connect with friends or mindlessly scroll and get it out of your system. Don’t let your phone control your break.
- Learn something new. Just imagine going back to school in the fall and being able to play something on a guitar or speak another language!
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