Avoiding the “Summer Slide”

Published June 28, 2018

Hello glorious summer!

But parents, if you’re not careful, your kids could slip into the “summer slide.”

What’s the “summer slide,” you ask? Sounds like fun?

Also called “summer learning loss” and “brain drain,” summer slide occurs when children forget academic skills after long breaks from the classroom. Research suggests that kids from every grade level lose a decent amount of what they’ve absorbed during the school year if they stop actively learning, among other stats.

Need a few ideas to help keep your kids at the top of their academic game? Here are a few of my favorite recommendations from the experts.

Take a trip to the local library. Your local public library offers a summer reading program that encourages kids, teens and even adults to read during the summer. Just remember to have your child choose their own books to read – books that match their skill level and interests, and encourage them to read at least 20 minutes a day. In some neighborhoods, families can find free used books at a Little Free Library.

Keep books in the car or listen to audiobooks on long trips and vacations. Perhaps it’s an audiobook about the history and facts of the destination your family is headed. As a bonus, it’ll help keep your family occupied and happy in the car.


Start a family game night. The benefits are abundant. Games build skills such as critical thinking, deductive reasoning, enhanced communication and vocabulary, to name a few. It’s also promotes family bonding and creates family traditions. Board and card games are great, and so are puzzles.


Create and start a summer journal. Encourage your child to share thoughts on their day or to write about a recent outing or something they’ve read. They can draw pictures, add stickers or label important details to their journal entries.


Cook with your child. Following basic recipes allows your child to practice fractions and measurement skills. Including him/her in home improvement projects also is a great way for them to practice measurements. Both are perfect hands-on activities.


Explore the zoo, park and museums. All these places provide an array of learning opportunities and it’s also a good way to incorporate physical activity into your child’s day.


These are just a few of the many tips to keep your child engaged in learning activities this summer, while also preparing them for a great start to the next school year. The “summer slide” might not be fun, but avoiding it sure can be. Enjoy!