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4 Helpful Tips to Prevent the “Summer Slide”

By: Darcie Lusk on June 5th, 2020

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4 Helpful Tips to Prevent the “Summer Slide”

Each fall teachers work with students who have experienced the all too common “summer slide.” Symptoms include learning loss, forgetting math formulas, and even a decrease in vocabulary. Studies have shown that students can lose up to one month of skills and knowledge learned during the school year over the summer, so keeping academic skills intact is a concern for many parents. After all, we want our students to be ready to make progress when school starts back up in September, rather than spending the first few weeks playing “catch up.”

4 Helpful Tips to Prevent the Summer Slide

Here are a few tips on how to avoid the “summer slide”:

  1. Consider what approach will work best with your students. Some families prefer keeping a “school type” schedule all summer long by including an hour or two of academic practice several mornings a week before enjoying summer activities. Other families find it more beneficial to incorporate learning into fun activities that happen throughout the day. Use whatever approach will work best with your students, or perhaps try a combination of the two.

  2. Focus on maintaining reading, writing, and problem solving skills. Students are more likely to succeed in all of the subject areas if their reading, writing, and problem solving skills are strong.

  3. For more formal academic practice, try including math worksheets, writing prompts, and book lists.

  4. For more informal academic practice, try some of these ideas:
  • Reading – Keep kids reading all summer long. Let them choose a variety of texts, join book clubs (or start your own), and set aside plenty of time for reading.

  • Writing – Keep journals, find a Pen Pal, send thank–you notes, and fill out postcards. Write book and movie reviews for family members or find a safe place for your student to “blog.”

  • Problem Solving – Cook, bake, build, keep a checkbook register (for a pretend checking account), and play lots of board games and card games. Those are all great ways to include math into everyday activities!

If you're looking for online learning resources for your child, check out our blog post, "Awesome Websites & Resources for Parents and Students in K-12th Grade."


Do you have other tips and tricks to help students avoid learning loss this summer? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!


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