What is the Summer Slide?
Educational research tells us that the summer slide occurs when young minds sit idle for the long hot summer resulting in at least a “slide” backward of up to three months of learning achievement. One of the most common areas where this is seen is in reading achievement. Experts agree that children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often slide backward. According to the authors of a report from the National Summer Learning Association in the U.S.: "A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year.... It's common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills." Unfortunately, this slide can be even worse for students who are learning to read in a new language.
What can a parent do to combat the summer slide in reading and writing?
Here are some ideas that may help:
Encourage your child to read for at least 30 minutes each day either in English or in their Mother tongue. Accessing books in English can be tricky but I recommend the use of such websites as Book Club on the Kindle, RazKids, Goodreads.com and Scholastic Wizard. Many of these sites sort their material by level i.e. you can ask for books at level R etc. (whichever level your child is at A—Z)
Combine reading with summer activities e.g. if you are heading somewhere, have your child read about that place or that activity before going there
Visit the library—if you are in Tunis for the summer, ACST’s elementary school library is open and/or accessible through the secondary school library from 1-31 July.
Have plenty of reading material around. Storybooks aren't the only thing that kids can read for fun. Be sure to have newspapers, magazines, and informational material on hand that might spark the interest of a young reader.
Read “the world”. There are many authentic ways to promote reading everyday such as reading street signs, logos, food labels and other packages at the grocery store!
What can a parent do to combat the summer slide in math?
Summer is a wonderful time to engage in some fun math activities with your child. Try to stay away from lots and lots of pages of ‘sums’ to do and focus on math in our everyday lives.
See the links below for ideas on Summer Math for grades 1 to 7, provided to us by our Math Consultant Erma Anderson.
If your child has used iXL or Mathletics this year as part of the learning program in math, then their log on will continue to be available to them over the summer months.
Summer is a wonderful time of the year! Enjoy it with your children, but take some time also to plan for some learning time. Let’s combat the summer slide together. Have fun.
Lesley Tait, Elementary Principal