Help your kids beat summer slide and have some fun this summer!
My kids are enjoying their last days of school today. They’re going to meet their new teachers, eat some cake, turn in their textbooks, and get their final report cards. And then they’re going to come home and play video games. For twelve weeks.
No, not really. I may be something of a slacker parent, but even I have limits. They’ll go to camp, ride bikes, go swimming, lounge in the tree house, and maybe build a fort in the backyard. They’ll got lots of fresh air and exercise and free time, some of the things they miss during the school year when we struggle to keep up with homework and extracurricular activities.
You know what else they might do? Lose two to three months of learning. Summer slide knows no boundaries. Every year, teachers spend the first six to eight weeks of school reviewing lessons that the kids learned the year before—and then forgot over the long weeks of summer vacation. That’s time that could be spent doing new things, different things, fun things.
Every year, teachers spend the first six to eight weeks of school reviewing lessons that the kids learned the year before—and then forgot over the long weeks of summer vacation.
Kids from low-income families are more likely to experience summer slide than their wealthier counterparts. That means students who are already at a disadvantage in terms of socioeconomic achievement are going to find themselves further behind the curve, struggling to catch up.
But, yes, there are solutions! And they’re fairly easy ones to implement, even for busy moms and dads who are struggling to find childcare on workdays. Try these tips to ensure that your kids are ready to hit the ground running come September when it’s back to school shoes, smartboards, and fresh notebooks full of blank pages ready to be filled.
- Lesson 1: Code a video game. Let’s face it, kids love video games, so instead of letting yours simply play for hours, have them create their own. Designing a video game requires skills in logic, reasoning, deduction, and all sorts of good stuff that keeps young brains well oiled. Kids can find opportunities to make video games at these kid-oriented websites.
- Lesson 2: Write a book. Chances are good that you’ve got a few copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid lying around the house. Encourage kids to write their own books ala Greg Heffley. If they lack motivation to write in an old-fashioned notebook, you might suggest to your older kids that they make an account on Wattpad and write it there. If they want to, they can publish it for other people to read and comment on.
- Lesson 3: Complete a history mystery scavenger hunt. Your kids don’t have to travel far to find something new to learn. Whether you live in the city, the country, or the suburbs, there are sure to be mysteries on your block for your kids to discover. With a history mystery scavenger hunt, kids will be motivated to visit the library, town offices, and businesses that have been around for a while. Invent a scavenger hunt with clues such as these.
- Find out what your street is named after.
- Find out who established your town.
- Find out who owns the most land in your neighborhood.
- Find out when the first school was built. Is it still standing?
What about you? What are your ideas for beating the summer slide?