Do your kids suffer from “Summer Slide?” Three resources that prevent the “Summer Slide!”

“Summer Slide: The scary epidemic teachers fear. Does your child suffer from “Summer Slide?”

“Summer slide” the is the term used to describe the loss of learning over the summer months. According to National Summer Learning Association, children lose up to two months of grade level equivalency learning in math over the summer and score lower in fall testing.

I’m not saying as a parent, we should be worried about testing, but you should worry if your child is backsliding!

There is lots of research on things to do to prevent the summer slide. Here are the 3 things I do with my children which have showed lots of success. Each fall our children are one of the few who show gains during testing.

Once the kids are in the habit, they enjoy the rewards of coming back to school in fall smarter than they left.

3 Resources to Prevent Summer Slide

1. READ, READ, READ! The first thing we do each weekday is read. This is just a continuation of our habit during the school year. I ask the kids to read an hour each day. If your child is an avid reader, you may not even have to require this step. You may also find that you don’t want to incorporate an hour (20 minutes should be the minimum). If you are going to do anything this summer, reading should be it! If your child doesn’t like to read, one site I recommend is Raz Kids. It’s an online reading program and both my kids have used it and made achievements from it.

summer slide read

Chart from PR Newswire

Of course it’s summer, so make this fun! There are lots of libraries that offer reading programs and incentives. We use our local library and the kids have earned coupons to Dairy Queen, Wave Games, and many more. It always feels good to earn something for your efforts.

Other ways we make reading fun over the summer is by varying where we read. We read in the hammock, on the trampoline, in our air forts etc. Notice the we…  I take part in the reading so it’s modeled as enjoyment. The point is to make reading a fun but also still important part of summer.

2. Summer Bridge to Learning books. 

Another element of our summer learning program is to complete a Summer Bridge to Learning book. You can find this book in a teacher supply store or as I do, on Amazon (click above). These are divided up into three section for the different months and cost about $10-12. You buy the workbook that coordinates with the grade your child is moving towards. For example, Chase is moving from 3rd to 4th so I buy him the version “Grades 3 to 4.”

What I love about these books is that they are divided into daily amounts. Each day asks the child to do two pages. These pages are filled with math, language, and reading activities.  These are skills that they learned during the year, but will keep them fresh on these skills so they don’t forget over the summer. Each section also has a bonus section with science experiments, social studies, and health activities you can do.

3. Online Math program. The last thing I require the kids to do is some sort of online math program. They do it on the i-pad three days a week for 20 minutes. The program I have liked best is Tenmarks. I have also used Dreambox, XtraMath (for practicing math facts), or any other site which challenges them.

How do you get your child to buy in? I know that question is going on in the back of your mind.

  1. Well first, I break it down for the kiddos. You have all day, every day during summer. Giving two hours during the weekdays to strengthen our brain isn’t a lot to ask. You can also break these tasks up and do them at different times of the day or on alternating days. What I don’t tell them is the benefit for the parent. It’s a two hour break in their requests, sometimes arguing (think of last August), need for commuting…. when they are engaged quietly and the house is at peace. I love this time! At the Peterberry household, we do our learning right after lunch. It’s our calm time before we get back to fun in the afternoon.
  2. We have an incentive. While they are required to do this task (no if’s or but’s), we do offer up an incentive that the older berries are working towards. They know this incentive off the bat and this year they helped choose. Last year we took them to an amusement park one month, gave them $20 to spend another, and finally tied it in for a family trip to Colorado. This year we are doing smaller scale and they are earning an amusement park, a water park day, and $20. They also get a trip to our local ice cream shop each month after they have read 400 minutes. I find this end of the month celebration keeps them going.

And don’t forget….when they go back to school and see how much “smarter” they have become, they appreciate the extra little bit of work during the summer.

A snapshot of the summer calendar we use to track our learning

A snapshot of the summer calendar we use to track our learning


Well there you have it… summer learning A la Peterberry! Whatever you choose, make it your own….but don’t stop learning this summer! Trust me.. it will be a Victory mom win!



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