For my siblings and I, summer days at home took on a familiar structure. Before any technology was turned on we had a list of activities that must first be completed. Reading was at the top of that list, along with bible stories, age-appropriate chores, outside play, and time to create (writing, arts and crafts, etc).
There is a tendency during the summer for children to slip out of practice exercising the skills they learned throughout the year. As a teacher, I share with my student’s parents that there is a simple solution to preventing the summer slide for their young elementary student. Here are my suggestions:
1. KEEP READING
Reading is a whole new world that many of your children have just begun to explore this year. Your children are making new connections and growing as readers daily. As your child practices sounding out words, reading sight words, and talking about literature, he or she is developing word recognition strategies, fluency and comprehension. If there is one key activity to help your child feel confident heading into the next grade, it is daily reading practice.
This summer, have your child choose appropriate leveled books that he or she can independently read and practice word tackling strategies. Reading more complex stories with your child is also a wonderful way to develop comprehension and a love for reading.
- Visit your local library. Many libraries have summer reading programs that your child can participate in free of charge!
- Earn a free book from Barnes and Noble: When your child reads 8 books and records them in a special reading journal (available here), they can earn a free book from your local Barnes and Noble store.
2. KEEP WRITING
Writing allows your child opportunities to express thoughts and ideas, but is also the perfect time to continue to practice proper letter formation and proper pencil grip. It also promotes fine motor skills. Summer is the perfect time to journal all the exciting things your children are seeing and doing.
3. KEEP LEARNING
God has created a great big, wonderful world all around us; even right here in our own backyard. Your children are creative and curious and love to explore. They naturally LOVE to learn. Take advantage of that! Summer adventures are a great time to research and talk about the things they observe and the things they wonder.
Whether finding opportunities at home or through other resources in your neighborhood and community, having access to summer learning experiences will help your children jump right back into the curriculum and succeed in the next school year. Continual practice and exercise of the skills your children have acquired is key to avoiding the summer slide.