How to keep your child’s mind active this summer

May 21, 2024 | (WTOP )

WASHINGTON — With summer around, school is the last thing on most students’ minds. But educators warn about a slide that’s more slippery and less fun — the summer slide, which refers to the learning loss that happens when school is out.

“We know that kids lose about two-and-a-half months of progress in language arts and up to three months of progress in math over the summer, so it really is important for kids to keep practicing academic skills,” Ann Dolin, president of Educational Connections Tutoring, told WTOP.

“But you don’t want to go overboard as a parent,” she added.

In order to “disguise” learning, Dolin suggests having your child figure out the tip if they’re learning about multiplication and decimals or practicing strategy with good old-fashion board games.

“Consider a family game night once a week where your child gets to pick the game. Games like Pay Day, Connect Four and Scrabble are all great ways to practice skills and have a lot of fun too,” Dolin said.

For other resources, parents can also check out the U.S. Department of Education’s blog and find local events for the National Summer Learning Association’s Summer Learning Day on July 14.

Also, Dolin reminds parents to sit down with their kids and figure out summer assignments so that there isn’t a last minute dash to complete work before the start of classes. Figure out a schedule for reading assignments and jot them down on a calendar in a family area. And make sure to check in on their progress throughout the break.

But how can parents make reading a fun activity again for their kids?

“If you have a young child who has difficulty reading independently, you may need to read with him or her to just get them started,” Dolin said.

“Also, sometimes having the whole family in on the act is a great idea,” she added. “Setting aside 20 minutes a few nights out of the week where everybody sits down and reads is fantastic. It could be a book, a magazine, even the sports section from the morning paper.”

According to Dolin, it’s not the material that counts but the “act of relaxing and reading” that may help reluctant readers find joy between the pages again.

Teta Alim

Teta Alim is a Digital Editor at WTOP. Teta's interest in journalism started in music and moved to digital media.

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