Stopping the Summer Slide

Worried about your son or daughter forgetting all that they learned during the school year over summer break? The summer slide is something many families are concerned about, but you may not be sure how to prevent it and keep your kid from falling behind when school starts back in the fall.

Real Learning Losses

The problem is real, and it’s one that the National Summer Learning Association is working to tackle. The nation’s only nonprofit dedicated to closing the achievement gap through high-quality summer learning for all children, the NSLA has found that two thirds of the reading achievement gap in 9th graders is due to the learning loss kids experience over the summer months. Additionally, their research has found a majority of students lose approximately two months worth of grade-level equivalency in their math skills during the same period.

What You Can Do

Scary stuff, we know. Especially when so many parents are simply focused during the summer months on what to do to keep their children safe and occupied while they are at work. But there are things that you can do to foster learning in your children June through August and prevent this loss of knowledge.

  • Set goals—Just telling your kid to do something educational probably won’t cut it. So challenge them by setting goals, whether it’s to read a certain number of pages or construct a special project such as a volcano.
  • Emphasis reading—If you do nothing else with your son or daughter this summer, keep them reading. Check with your local library for any summer reading programs. Start a neighborhood book club. And let your kid pick the material. Even a comic book will help keep those literacy skills fresh.
  • Use math everyday—Math doesn’t have to mean sitting down and solving an equation. In fact incorporating math into your every day errands and routines is a great way to keep your kid thinking numerically. Have your kids calculate the savings your coupons bring at the grocery store. If you are cooking, put them to work doubling the ingredient amount or calculating the cooking time.
  • Stay active—Just as important as keeping kids’ brains working over the summer break is giving them opportunities to be outdoors exploring, away from screens. Try to plan outdoor activities with them, such as planting a container garden, taking a bike ride or exploring a nearby zoo.

Look for a Summer Learning Day event near you on July 14 for even more activities or ideas to incorporate into your child’s time off from school.

One thing your kids shouldn’t have to learn about over summer break is lice. But should the pesky problem of lice happen, Lice Happens is here to help. We are your one-stop source for information and assistance. Visit our website at, or call our 24-Hour LiceLine 443.510.4480.