Summer slide is the term used to describe the loss of skills many students experience during the time off from school. This article reports that a Duke University professor’s study found students may lose one to three months of learning.

Cooper’s study also showed that summer loss was greater in math than reading and had the biggest downward trend in math computation and spelling.

If your student is currently attending a Gideon Math and Reading center, you are already ahead of the game and keeping his or her brain sharp!  We can make incredible gains in just a few minutes each day.  If not currently enrolled, we consider summer a great time to address issues from the year before OR to get ahead as the stresses from the normal school year are eliminated.  If you are off on vacation or looking for other ways to engage your children, check out our links below.

1)Have your child read; the more, the better!

Academic achievement was ranked in the 90th percentile for students who read 40 minutes a day. In addition, students who read 12 minutes a day score in the 50th percentile.

Beyond going to the library to check out its selection, take a look at these links for ideas.  How to Be a Math GeniusWildest Kids Books,  & Best Kids Books (according to other kids!)

Bonus tip: Read some of the same books with your child to have thoughtful discussions.

“Parents can foster reading comprehension by asking children to predict what might happen next (and) asking questions about characters’ motives and feelings.”

2) Work on oral math facts using our Gideon Math Fact Cards.  Download here.

3) Grab the sale flyers from the mail and have your student go on a shopping trip.  Give him or her a budget.  Bonus tip: Tell them everything is 20% off!

4) Have your child pick a country and write a report on it including current news.

5) Have your student do the research for a family trip.  Look up hotel costs, transportation (gas or airline tickets), food costs, and activities.  Nothing will make your student appreciate the vacation more if they understand how much ‘relaxing’ costs!

6) Ask, “Why?” during short or long trips about nature or weather (such as “Why does a rainbow follow a rain shower?”)

7) Grab a National Geographic and have your student do a report on an article.  Bonus tip: Require he or she look up any unknown words and discuss the meaning with you.

8) Have your child keep a summer journal.  Read over and give corrections and advice for better structured sentences.

“Examples could include writing about a favorite vacation activity, describing a place they would like to visit, or even creating a vacation agenda for an upcoming trip,” she said.

9) Play non-electronic board games like Monopoly and chess that encourage math and reasoning together as a family.

10) Send your child off to invent something! Gather scrap material (cloth, plastic wrapping, cardboard), tape, scissors, paper, string, and anything else that will get them going.  Ask them to solve a household problem for you.  Bonus tip: If they need some inspiration, have them read these.


Related reading: Need for Education Doesn’t End When Summer Begins

Tell us if any of these ideas worked for you.  Also, what other great ideas do you use to keep your kids learning during the summer?


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