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How to Beat the Summer Slide

Have you heard of the “summer slide”? Unfortunately, it’s not the fun kind of slide you’ll find at a water park or playground. This slide is different. It’s a slide that no mom wants her child to ride.

What Is the Summer Slide?

what happens during the summer slide

The summer slide is a decline in reading ability and other academic skills that can occur over the summer months when school isn’t in session.

Although the summer slide may not affect every student, the general principle is one that can be observed in all sorts of situations. Skills that are learned, also need to be practiced to ensure ongoing proficiency in the skill. For example, if your child plays the violin but stops practicing for three months, his skills will decline more than the skills of a child who continues to practice and play the violin over the summer, right?

So what can we do to avoid this common problem?

How to Prevent the Summer Slide

Here’s the secret to preventing the summer slide: Keep learning all summer long. (Now, don’t panic, I’m not talking about year-round schooling, although for some homeschool families, year-round schooling may be a good solution.)

I’m talking about consciously striving to provide learning opportunities throughout the summer to keep kids’ academic skills sharp. Check out the infographic below for a big list of ideas to help you put an end to the summer slide!

infographic with summer slide activities

Beat the Summer Slide with These Helpful Resources!

Want to keep your child’s reading and spelling skills sharp over the summer? Check out the blog posts, free downloads, and review materials below and say goodbye to the summer slide forever.

Reading Resources

Skills Review for Reading and Spelling

Vocabulary-Building Resources

Additional Resources

Would you like to learn more about how you can beat the Summer Slide? Download our FREE e-book!

What do you plan to do with your children to beat the summer slide? Share in the comments below!

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Tandi Cortez

says:

Wonderful content! Great tips! Will definitely use some of these with my son!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Tandi!

Lauren

says:

Great ideas! We’ve been doing more library pick-ups this summer and everyone is loving it!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Libraries are a wonderful resource for beating the summer slide, Lauren! Thank you for the reminder!

Clara

says:

Thank you! Such a helpful article as always!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Clara!

Clarice

says:

My kids are already listening through The Mysterious Benedict Society series on audio, and living it!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

That’s a great series, Clarice!

Wendi Knight

says:

Love this! Seems like an effortless way to stay sharp this summer!

Toni Drummond

says:

I find that it is very important to provide learning opportunities over the summer. My child would like to spend all 24 hours each day playing video games and watching TV, but I try to find ways to keep him otherwise occupied and having new and fun experiences at the same time.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Such a great point, Toni! Thank you.

Leisa

says:

These are some fun tips and I hadn’t thought of some of them.

Jenn

says:

Great ideas. Thanks!

Katie

says:

Love these tips! We dial back on some subjects and read so much during the summer…feels like a treat that the whole family enjoys!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a great way to beat the summer slide, Katie!

Jessica Barnes

says:

Great ideas. Thanks!

Niki

says:

Love these ideas! We are implementing quite a few at our house!

Elizabeth H.

says:

Great ideas!

Amanda

says:

These are great suggestions for our Summer learning.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Amanda!

Alyssa

says:

Thank you so much for the tips! My littles have worked so hard on AAR and this will help give them a little break during summer without loosing all the skills they obtained!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are so welcome, Alyssa! Having a plan for providing ongoing review over long breaks from school is so important!

Chrysalis

says:

My kids and I always continue homeschooling through the summer. It doesn’t mean we are doing it hard core. Even if it is readying for 30-minutes that day after spending the day at the beach, we did something. Every little bit counts and I make sure we do something each day of the summer. This seems to work best for us to make sure we stay on track and keep learning daily!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

It sounds like you have a wonderful way to prevent the summer slide with your children, Chrysalis! Thank you for sharing it.

Sigrid

says:

I like that you used a colorful poster to highlight the points of what to do with your child(ren) to keep them learning. Some of the best things I have done with my three girls is to let them ponder what would they do if there was no “right” answer or judgement to the activity. Their choices of what to do often seem surprisingly simple but engage learning at the same time. When my youngest (6 years old) wanted to roll out letters in play-doh, my middle one (13 years old) suddenly thought she could be creative in her own way with clay and they started talking up a storm. Learning how to correctly tell a story started evolving as my middle daughter gently corrected her younger sister as she actively listened to her when they were both engaged in clay play. They rarely get along that well, but the times the do are wonderful experiences for both. I encourage all parents and guardians of children to let the child guide some of their learning experiences to see where it may take you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Such great points, Sigrid! Thank you for so much for sharing this.

Ophira

says:

This is a fantastic list! Thank you so much for putting it together.

Kim

says:

Thank you for these helpful tips.

Jocelyn

says:

Great ideas here!

Kelsey Lafleur

says:

Thank you! We love audiobooks! I never thought about it helping with the summer side.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Kelsey!

Mychal

says:

These are great ideas and we incorporate most of them. I love the ‘All About Learning’ as it gives them rules to figure out a lot themselves.

Tara Archer

says:

This is great! We are actively trying go to prevent the summer slide and will use this list as a guide. I also printed out a bunch of your free activities for review! Thanks for the support.

Vilma Reyes

says:

I have an 11 year old entering 6th grade. Hoping to make reading special this summer with some new and exciting ideas…my research begins now…

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Vilma,
Are you looking for anything specific? We have Chapter Book Reviews that might be helpful, as well as How to Motivate Your Child to Read blog post. Let me know if I can help you with your research.

Katie B

says:

I haven’t even begun to learn how to tackle this. My oldest and I are finishing pre-k, so it’s our first “summer” to slide through. Mumma needs it too. We are purchasing the AAR – Pre Reading package and will focus on this and a nature study this summer. Very much looking forward to trying it out!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Katie,
It sounds like you have a great plan for this summer! Pre-reading and nature study should be lots of fun!

Paula

says:

Not sure what we’re going to aside from several of the tips listed. Thank you for the resources listed to go along with them too :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Paula.

Lauren

says:

Great advice! Thank you!

Sunnymay

says:

I agree the reading is important year round and especially so kids don’t fall behind in the summer. Picking out books that resonate with interests like hobbies, sports, games, pets, etc. is the key. My kids loved it when I read a page in a chapter bbook and they read the next page. If it was a short page, they were gloating. We just kept on going and silly stories were the most fun.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sunnymay,
My children enjoyed buddy reading like that so much! It made reading so much more social and special.

Sunshyne

says:

Wow there are a lot of resources provided to prevent the summer slide. I look forward to exploring all of them one by one.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Sunshyne.

Katya

says:

Great resources, thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Katya!

Jodie

says:

I learned about the summer slide big time a few years ago when I realized my son forgot how to write his name. That was so fun (not really…).

We continue through the summer with AAR. I have them pick previous stories to read as well as do a lesson two or three times a week. We also incorporate fun reading games into our days.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I like your plan to use previous All About Reading stories for reviewing, Jodie! Rereading stories helps students build smooth, fluent reading. Thanks for sharing your summer plan.