Preventing the Summer Slide in Your Homeschool


Whether you school all year round or take the summer off, it is important to keep a little bit of learning happening through the summer months. Nobody wants their kids experiencing the summer slide!  

Just in case this term is new to you, the summer slide is the loss of learning kids experience during the summer months when they are not doing school.

I recently read some statistics about the summer slide and it reminded me of the importance of keeping up with learning during these months. On average  2 1/2 months of math skills are lost, and two months of reading skills are lost. Once kids start back up with their learning again it takes about two months to get caught back up to the previous level! Usually, the first six weeks of school are spent reviewing.  

All of this can easily be prevented with just 2-3 hours per week of learning time. That’s hardly anything! If you do just 25 minutes per weekday of learning with your kids you can prevent this loss of learning!

Tips for Preventing the Summer Slide

These few simple things help keep kids on track with their learning and really help prevent any of the backwards sliding that happens in the summer.

News

Keep up on news stories and current events during the summer. There are several websites and apps that cater to kids. We love using the News-o-Matic app!

Reading

My kids do not need a lot of pressure to keep reading, but I do make sure that they do some independent reading every day for at least 20 minutes. We also continue with one family read-aloud through the summer.

Math

My kids have to do their math through the summer, much to their disappointment! We usually do not finish the level by the end of the school year, so they continue with their regular math lessons. When they are finished I have them do some math online. There are a few different fun options. Their current favorite is the Prodigy website.

Nature Study

Summer is one of our favorite times to study nature. My kids keep up with their nature journals through the summer sketching and writing about the best things they come across in their outdoor time. They spend more time outside than inside in the summer.

Summer Bridge Workbooks

Sometimes I pick up a few workbooks for my kids to use instead of their regular books. They like the variety of having something different to do. My younger kids get really excited about them!

Writing

We do not do any formal writing instruction during the summer, but it is a great time for writing letters to cousins, grandparents or friends.

Summer Learning Schedule

While our summer schedule is very relaxed, we do still keep a bit of a routine in place.  You can read more about our summer routine here. The morning time is reserved for learning time and chores and the afternoon is theirs to play outdoors and with friends. Having a routine keeps our house running smoothly! All of these things are accomplished by lunchtime at our house. Once lunch is eaten the kids have the rest of the day to play. Play and free time are so important for their mental development, too!

What learning does your family do through the summer months?

Karyn Tripp

About the author

Karyn is a former teacher who turned to homeschooling her kids. She is the author of the blog Teach Beside Me, the book Math Art and Drawing Games for Kids and the co-host of the Called to Homeschool podcast. Karyn loves sharing fun and creative teaching ideas to help kids love learning!

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