Five Tips for Avoiding the Summer Slide
Summer slide, brain drain, learning loss — no matter what you call it, the effects are proven. Several studies, including those completed by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Summer Learning Association, document the loss of academic skills during the months of summer vacation. Children can lose up to two or three months of previously learned skills, often in reading, language arts, and math. When school starts up again, it can take approximately two months to regain the lost skills.
Children with language and learning difficulties are even more susceptible to this type of regression, and often require more time and support to recoup their skills in the fall. Over time, the cumulative effect of summer slide continues to widen the gap between these students and their peers.
To a point, regression can be normal in children, and learning does not always happen in a perfectly sequential way — we’ve all seen the child that takes a few steps back before taking a leap forward. However, experts agree that formal instruction over summer break is key, especially for children with language and learning difficulty.
Not sure how your child is dealing with summer slide? Call The Speech Studio to set up a speech and language evaluation with a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. Speech-language pathologists are professionals whose scope of practice includes a variety of vital classroom skills, including: receptive language, expressive language, reading, writing, social communication, executive functioning, and phonological awareness.
If your child is falling behind, working with a professional can make all the difference. The Speech Studio can help your child avoid academic regression, monitor skill acquisition and maintenance, and even facilitate gains before your child heads back to the classroom. After all, the only good type of summer slide is at the playground!
Want to boost your child’s skills at home this summer? There’s a lot you can do besides the same old workbooks and summer reading lists! Try some of these fun ideas:
- Send vacation postcards: Help your kids stay in touch with friends and family this summer by sending postcards. The short format keeps the task manageable while your child works on writing and narrative language skills. Or, for older and more tech-savvy kids, ask them to write a blog (technology can be very motivating!).
- Start a book club: Target reading comprehension and related skills in an environment where children can learn to enjoy books without the pressure of quizzes and tests. A book club is also a great place for kids to practice a variety of social communication skills.
- Bake something: Not only will your kids get a tasty treat, they’ll get an opportunity to practice following multistep directions, sequencing, and cause and effect.
- Put on a show: Kids can work together to write their own play or reenact their favorite book or movie. The possibilities are endless, as are the skills practiced: memory, perspective taking, narrative language, emotions, nonverbal cues…
- Take a day trip: Check out a nearby museum, zoo, or park, where kids can be exposed to new concepts and vocabulary. All of these places provide great opportunities for multisensory learning!