3 Ways to Prevent the Summer Slide this Year
If you’ve never heard of summer slide, you’re not alone – only 48% of parents are familiar with the term for the learning loss that happens during breaks from school.1 Your kids spend the school year working hard and learning a lot, but they can lose a significant chunk of that knowledge during the year. Summer slide affects kids all over the country and the world – studies find that “summer learning loss is not correlated to race, IQ or gender.”2
The literature and research around summer slide is mixed; experts estimate that kids lose anywhere from one month of general learning3 to 2.6 months of math computational skills4 during the summer. It can even impact their future; “by the time a student reaches middle school, they’ve lost the equivalent of 2 years of learning to summer slide.”5
Summer slide may be a new term, but it’s not a new concept. Research spanning 100 years shows that students “typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.”6 So what can we do to help our kids avoid summer learning loss?
How to Beat the Summer Slide
We get it – it’s hard to entertain your kids during the summer, and it can be tempting to let them plop in front of the TV. Unsurprisingly, parents agree that keeping kids busy with productive activities is most difficult over the summer.
But don’t get discouraged! The good news is that studies suggest “summer slide can be minimized or even reversed through programs that engage students, parents, and teachers while school is out.”7 Here are three places to begin:
1. Establish a Routine
While it’s important to allow them time to roam the neighborhood and catch up on cartoons, kids must stick to some kind of routine. Whether it’s reading, math practice, or coding on Tynker, encourage your kids to stick with something daily. This will give them the structure they’re used to at school and help them get in the zone to learn!
2. Learn a New Skill
Exploring and learning a new skill is a great way to stave off summer slide. Introduce your kids to various educational activities (such as the Tynker Summer Code-A-Thon!) and let them choose what appeals to them. Check out Tynker’s variety of courses and tutorials; from Minecraft Mod Design to Dragon Attack, Python 2 to Barbie Vet, there’s something for every interest and every skill level!
3. Explore STEM
We know that the decline in achievement is steeper in math than reading, so it’s more important than ever to explore STEM this summer! Keeping kids’ brains active doesn’t have to mean completing math drills and multiplication tables – explore STEM in other ways like going out in nature, writing a song, or learning to code.
With your help, your kids will head into the upcoming school year with even more knowledge than when they began the summer. Tynker provides hundreds of opportunities to keep your kids engaged and learning – see how your kids thrive as they learn to code in a fun, game-based environment!