Clayton Early Learning
8Jun/15Off

Fun Summer Learning to Help Children Avoid the Summer Slide

Shauna Scott

summer slide

 

 

 

 

Summer Slide

It’s often easy for parents/guardians to disregard the loss of skills or information their children learn during the school year during the summer due to the challenges summers off can create. Summer is a busy time filled with needing to coordinate child care that aligns with parents working schedules and planning trips or rides to summer camps or programs. This is unfortunate because according to the National Summer Learning Association, children can lose up to two months of learning, or 22% of those acquired skills and knowledge throughout that school year! This is alarming and discouraging because most often, teachers are then required to utilize the first month of the new school year re-teaching lost skills and information from the previous year. Ultimately, the more knowledge children lose cumulatively in those summer months year after year results in foreseeable broadening achievement gaps. If this loss is indeed measurable and predictive, surely there has to be a way in means of prevention.

Strategies

One way to prevent the summer slide blues, as a parent is to talk to their teacher from that previous year and the new teacher for the upcoming year. Get materials or books to continue working with your child throughout the summer. Clayton parents have the added benefit of having a Five by Five pass. This program is provided free to all of our families by the Denver’s Great Kids Head Start office. The pass is distributed to all families in Clayton in order for all children to have access to most of Denver’s cultural venues free of charge. The main objective of the Five by Five program being all children having the opportunity to experience at least five cultural enriching experiences by the age of 5!

The Denver Public Library also offers a fantastic summer reading program. This summer it is called Summer of Reading. The program opens for registration 6/1 and ends 8/8. The opportunities are endless and parents are strongly encouraged to check it out! Parents can visit any local library to enroll their children. Children can attend exciting events throughout the summer and earn prizes by reading.5x5

Schedules

It is imperative parents still keep to a schedule setting a small amount of time for educational activities daily. Two very important tips for summer educations learning-make the activities FUN and don’t overdo it! Parents must remember that they are their child’s first teacher and this means that as a parent, it means be willing to be a learner as well. Set aside a time each day for engaging learning activities or a reading time. Implement a goal system you can all agree on. An example would be to create a sticker chart and when it is all filled up, you can celebrate your child’s successes. This does not mean parents need to spend money on rewards. A reward system can include going to their local recreational center for a swim day or to any other venue included in the Five by Five pass. One important thing to remember is if the child starts to lose interest during the educational time each day, stop, praise their child for what they were able to focus on and start with enthusiasm the next day. Also, to encourage building on the child’s reading skills and not to let it diminish. Make reading fun by reading the same book. Create a mobile, report or a visual project such as a diorama on what was learned during that study.

Summer learning needn’t be complex, stressful or all time consuming. Most often, children will look forward to this time with their most important teachers-their parents! Rely on resources you already have. Below are some great resources parents can help jump start their summer learning journey with their children! For more ideas and fun summer learning resources, check out these great links:

www.denverpubliclibrary.org

www.rif.org (enter Keeping Kids off the Summer Slide)

www.denvergov.org/educationandchildren/OfficeofChildrensAffairs/SchoolReadiness/The5By5Program/tabid/438197/Default.aspx (for information about the Five by Five program)

What are some of the fun ways you support your child’s academic growth throughout the summer?

 

Shauna Scott

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