Have you heard of the dreaded summer slide? That unfortunate, seemingly inevitable loss of school-year gains in reading and math because continuous learning activities have stopped? Recent research has shown that elementary-aged students can lose as much as 20 – 27 percent of their yearly gains in reading and math. In some cases, those numbers can increase to 36-50 percent by seventh grade.
How Can You Engage Kids in Continuous Learning During the Summer?
It’s essential to keep your kids engaged in learning during the summer because this will prevent the dreaded “summer slide.” With many of our local go-to summer enrichment activities closed this year, how can you achieve continuous learning at home? Check out our list:
Participate in a Summer Reading Program
Pima County Public Libraries are offering an online/at-home version of their excellent summer reading program this year. You can pick up or print a paper tracker. Another option is to download the library app for additional activities. Keep in mind that PCPL is offering limited services until further notice, so you will need to reserve books of your choice online, via the app. Or you can call your nearest branch. In addition, the library website is hosting a Story Sketch program, built to help kids ages 5 to 18 write and illustrate their own stories and see them featured on the PCPL YouTube page.
Learn a New Skill
Encourage the whole family to participate in something new this summer. Learning to cook or making small repairs around the house are activities that can help bolster math learning. This will also help build a valuable competency for later in life. What about tackling a new language that can help improve concentration and boost social skills? Whatever skill you choose, approaching your new project as a group can enrich your time at home together.
Make the Most of Screen Time
You’ve heard it before—too much screen time can be detrimental to critical thinking skills and can help contribute to summer learning loss. However, it’s important to distinguish between passive screen time and interactive screen time; the former results in your child absorbing content as it emanates from the screen while the latter involves active participation in a conversation, game, or activity. This summer, try to focus on long-distance video visits with family and friends, interactive math games, and opportunities for new learning.
Work through TIA’s Summer School Homework Packets
To help your child engage in continuous learning this summer, we’ve crafted a package of activities and exercises just for you. Encourage your child to complete the daily and weekly items inside.
Other Fun Local Activities
Pima County Public Library has limited activities so be sure to check out their web site first.
Unfortunately, fun summer learning activities like the Desert Museum, Children’s Museum remain closed until further notice. As the state continues to reopen, however, the situation may change.
With your cooperation and with the above-mentioned summer learning activities, we can avoid the summer slide. Let’s enter this next school year fresh and ready to continue learning.