This post was written by Leslie Keelty, Education Consultant at Kumon Canada who originally shared these tips on Global News.
What is The "Summer Slide"?
There’s been a lot of research done on the summer slide, also known as summer learning loss. Most educators agree that taking two months off without any math or reading instruction is not a good idea. Without any academic learning during the summer, children can fall behind when school starts up in September. Children who stay mentally engaged throughout the summer come back to school with confidence.
Families have so many activities in the summer. How can they keep kids interested in learning? Here are our top 5 tips to avoid the Summer Slide:
1. Study a Little Bit Every Day
Aim for 30 minutes per study session depending on the child’s age and concentration ability. I’ll compare it to the same amount of time for a daily shower and brushing teeth. I ask the kids, do you stop brushing your teeth or taking showers during summer vacation? Well, they think that’s pretty funny & they get it, and if their parents are on board then summer study can work.
2. Start early
Little kids love learning new things and we want to nurture that love of learning through their whole school careers. As a parent you are your child’s first teacher. For preschoolers, look for triangle pencils at your dollar store and show little ones how to hold a pencil correctly so they will be ready for kindergarten.
3. Use a Learning Diary or Sticker Chart
A learning diary can be used to keep track of specific goals and accomplishments. Goals like memorizing Addition and Subtraction Facts to 20 or memorizing times tables up to 12. This may seem basic but parents want to ensure these fundamental skills are mastered. Give praise specific to their accomplishments: Wow, you memorized the times 5 tables, let’s work on times 6!
4. Read Together as a Family
Especially fathers! You may be surprised to know that fathers play a huge role in their child’s reading development. Recent research shows that dads who read a lot at home with their children, especially bedtime stories, are one of the strongest indicators of reading success for their children. You can go on our website Kumon.ca and download our librarian approved reading list to get books your children will want to read!
These can be purchased at your local book store, teachers’ store or online. We suggest “Are You Ready for Kindergarten?” for developing pencil control and for students starting high school in September: “Getting Ready for Algebra”.
We’d love for you to tell us how you keep your children engaged during the summer. Don’t forget to leave us a comment and share your favourite tips below.