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Have you ever heard of the “summer slide”? Unfortunately, we are not referring to the fun kind of slide you’ll find at a playground. This particular slide is something different.

During the summer months when school is not in session, the average student loses one to three months of learning. This includes a decline in reading ability and other academic skills.

How to Prevent the Summer Slide

The secret to preventing the summer slide is to, of course, keep learning all summer long. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean summer school. There are many ways you can consciously strive to provide learning opportunities throughout the summer to keep your kids’ academic skills sharp. Here are a few recommendations.

Encourage reading.

Have your child read at least 20 minutes every day. This is all it takes to prevent summer learning loss. Explore different kinds of reading material that your child may enjoy, including picture books, chapter books, audiobooks, and magazines. The local public library is a great free resource for families. Studies show that having access to a lot of books has a more powerful impact on education than household income. So take your kids to the library and allow them to choose books they like. They are more likely to read when they are interested in the topic.

Go outside.

Find inexpensive summer activities that provide fun learning opportunities. This could include teaching kids a new skill, such as planting a garden or learning a new sport. Also, be sure to check online for a list of free community programs and opportunities. The simple act of going outside and exploring helps reinforce what kids are learning.

Play smart.

Games and puzzles are a great way for kids to brush up on some lessons while having fun. There are many games that help teach mathematics, spelling, vocabulary, and more. By incorporating these games into your summer activities, you are able to forgo the tutoring and still have your kids flex their brain power.

Spend time cooking together.

Don’t forget summer nutrition! Healthy eating has been shown to have a positive effect on learning. In contrast, poor diet impacts a child’s memory, concentration and energy levels, making learning more difficult. By cooking together, you can spend your time bonding over a fun activity, while teaching them about the importance of proper nutrition and making sure they are staying healthy.

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