What Parents Need to Know about the Summer Slide

Find out how you can prepare your child for a strong start in the new school year.

Learning loss doesn’t have to affect your child over summer break.

The last days of school are just around the bend, and children can't wait to run around in the sunshine and spend long days out by the pool. Though it's a great time to relax and have fun, it's also crucial to keep an eye on your student's academic well-being. Avoiding the summer slide is a great way to ensure your child is ready for the next school year.

What Is the Summer Slide?

The term "summer slide" refers to the decline in academic skills that some students experience during the summer break from school. For some, not engaging in educational activities for several months can lead to struggle during the next school year.

The summer slide tends to disproportionately affect students from low-income families, as their households may have limited internet and resource access outside of school hours.


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How Can You Prevent the Summer Slide?

If you want to keep your student's skills sharp during the summer months, try the following techniques at home:

  • Encourage your children to read each day during their summer break. Let them choose books that interest them so they can more effectively enjoy the process.
  • Look for educational activities that your children might want to take part in. These can include visiting a museum, attending a summer workshop, or attending STEM-focused summer camps.
  • Limit the amount of time your children spend in front of a screen this summer, as excessive screen time can contribute to the summer slide. Set reasonable time limits and encourage your children to participate in stimulating activities like playing outdoors or putting together a puzzle.

Educational opportunities don’t need to be as rigorous during the summer to prevent learning loss—keep it fun to keep your kids engaged.


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How Libraries Can Help Beat the Summer Slide

Your local library can be a powerful ally when it comes to preventing the summer slide. Many of these facilities host summer reading programs during the months that students are out of school. In addition, they routinely put on events and workshops covering various educational topics that inspire learning outside of the classroom.

If your child would rather explore at their own pace, libraries provide patrons with access to a wide range of educational resources, such as books, audiobooks, e-books, movies, games, and more. Encourage your child to explore different subjects and formats to keep learning fun.

By being proactive and combining learning with summer fun, you can help your children beat the summer slide and start their next school year on the right foot. Make this summer one that's filled with sunshine, activities, and information.



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