Battling the Summer Slide
Can you feel that warmth in the air? Summer vacation is officially upon us!
Summer is a wonderful time of year for children. Some of the best memories they'll ever have from their childhood will occur in these next two to three months in the form of summer camps, vacations, and spending time outdoors with their friends and family. Oh to be a kid again!
However, there's a common misconception for children that just because school is on a temporary break, learning can also be placed aside.
We all know it, we all very strongly dislike it - the summer slide.
If you're not familiar with the term itself, I'm sure you're at least familiar with the effects. The summer slide describes the slide backward that children often make in math, reading, and other skills while on summer vacation.
It's a natural phenomenon. Your children just spent 9-10 months working hard and learning new things in school. They're mentally exhausted. The last thing they want to do is crack open a book when there are so many activities they'd rather be doing instead. As a parent, I sometimes have my own mini-slide on long weekends - so I get it!
Think about it, if your son or daughter stops practicing the piano for three months, they're going to be rusty when they go to play again. If your son or daughter doesn't practice shooting a basketball for two to three months, they will need to build that muscle memory again before learning new skills.
School is no different. Putting all learning aside for summer vacation could mean your child is playing catch-up with the rest of the class when it comes time to learn again in autumn.
For some, the summer slide got an early start this year in the form of self-quarantine (no judgment here, it was a very hectic time for everyone). The bright side is that now is as good as time as any to get going, as getting started now will get your child's mind nice and warmed up when it comes time to go back to school in the fall.
At Name Bubbles, we are firm believers in being proactive. In fact, our business is built around this notion. Our labels are here to help make sure that you and your family are prepared for the chaos that often accompanies daycare, kindergarten, summer camp, and everyday life.
The little things we do today will benefit us greatly tomorrow. Carving out a little bit of time each day can ensure that your child's mind remains sharp, and those creative and intuitive juices keep flowing throughout the summer.
Don't worry; we are not asking you to follow a curriculum or homeschool anyone. Summer learning activities are a great way to show your children that learning can be fun. Who knows, you may have a good time as well. 😉
Our Name Bubbles family is filled with parents who are seasoned veterans when it comes to keeping our children occupied. So we put our heads together and came up with a few recommendations for fending off the summer slide. And in true Name Bubbles fashion, we even created some printables to guide you and your child/children to help you stay organized. Click here to download a free PDF version of our Summer Reading Log.
Reading Is Fundamental
Summer reading serves as the bridge between the previous school year and the next school year. It helps children retain the information they have already learned while simultaneously growing their knowledge in preparation for future learning. Think of it as keeping your child's brain in shape.
Holding your children accountable for their summer reading requirements can be like pulling teeth! Set a goal at the start of vacation for how many books your child should read. Quantities will vary based on reading level, but try to establish a bar that’s challenging, yet achievable. When your child finishes a book, have them log it in our Summer Reading Log so that they can track their progress.
We recommend setting a routine with your kids. An hour a day of reading will go a long way, with the option of completing the task in one sitting or breaking it up into two 30 minute periods in the morning and evening. An hour for reading and the rest of the day is there's - seems like a fair trade!
Has your child completed their summer reading requirements for school? That's fantastic - but don't stop now! Keep that momentum going.
We believe parents should also be encouraging their kids to read other books. Help them choose something entertaining that you know they will get enjoyment from. Recommendations include The Chickens are Coming for younger children, The Great Shelby Holmes for elementary school students, and The Chronicles of Narnia (one of my personal favs 😊) for your adolescents.
We want to show our children that reading can be enjoyable, with the end goal of having them pick up a book to read, even when it's not required.
Like a rolling stone gathering moss, a child’s brain needs to stay active. We hope this helps you in your efforts to stave off that dreaded summer slide. Feel free to reach out to us on social media and tell us how you keep your child learning during the summer months.
Stay safe, and we’ll talk to you next week on The Weekly Bubble.