Did you know the summer slide has drawn the attention of educators for over 100 years? Research from as early as 1906 has addressed the concern. We often hear about how much learning students lose during the summer months. And lots of research has been done on the subject. (Just do a quick search of “the summer slide” using your favorite search engine, and you’ll get lots of results on both sides of the issue from scholarly and popular sources.)
You might be surprised by the findings. A deeper reading of the research shows that the slide is not a given. In fact, some students actually improve over the summer, especially in reading. Math seems to be one subject area where students may lose some knowledge.
What we’d like to focus on, though, is the fact that students who have opportunities to engage in continued learning over the summer are more likely to show improvement when they return to school. Here are some ways you can plan now for your child’s summer learning:
- Summer reading list. Let your child make a list of books he or she would like to read. Visit a library, bookstore or a school book fair. Make note of the subjects and types of books that interest your child. Tip: Summer is the time for fun reading. Comic books, activity books and those series based on a favorite cartoon or TV character might be more enticing than the classics. Just make sure you let your child get involved in selecting books.
- Plan summer field trips. Field trips are always fun. Plan weekly outings that have some educational value. Think museums, historical sites and plays or symphonies. Many cities have outdoor music and plays, so grab a snack and a blanket and head out. Your child might be more excited about the experience if they are outdoors. And you might be surprised by the number (and subject matter) of museums across the country. Check out the Museums USA directory here.
- Pick a camp (or two).Summer camps and other programs are some of the best ways to keep your child engaged in learning. Bricks 4 Kidz® camps are a fun way for kids ages 5 to 13 to connect with other kids and get hands-on experience with cool STEM activities! Guided by our experienced teachers and built around exciting themes, children will enjoy using LEGO® Bricks to build specially-designed, play LEGO® games and explore the world of engineering, architecture and animated movie-making. Find a location and the perfect match for your child here.