The National Summer Learning Association reports that “students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer”. How can parents help their child beat the summer slump? Red Apple Reading has 5 suggestions that will help keep your kiddo sharp over summer vacation.
- Keep Reading! – One of the most important things that parents can do to fight the summer slump is to continue to read to and encourage their children to read over break. Make sure that your kiddos have plenty of reading material as well as a designated time set aside each day for reading. Requiring your children to read for 30 minutes to an hour every day doesn’t make you a bad guy. Most of our kids spend the majority of their summer days as they wish; dedicated reading time only takes up a small fraction of the day.
- Limit Screen Time – Not all time spent in front of a screen is wasted time. However, when left to their own devices, kids will not always choose the best video games to play or television shows to watch. Parents need to carefully monitor their children’s screen time during the summer to ensure that an excessive amount of time is not being idly spent. After all, the beginning of school is right around the corner and you don’t want your kiddo to experience “culture shock” when she is no longer able to watch television 24/7!
- Review Math Facts – After spending just a small portion of my summer reviewing multiplication facts with my son, I feel like I owe a debt of gratitude to his math teacher. How did she keep her sanity while trying to teach 20 kids how to multiply? As frustrating as it can be to review math facts with our kids over the summer months, the payoff for them when school resumes will be huge. Math, like reading, builds on information previously learned. If your child doesn’t master basic math facts, they will struggle with math throughout their school career. Make sure your kid doesn’t start the school year on the wrong foot by reviewing his math facts with him over the summer!
- Maintain Structure – Don’t worry! I’m not advocating waking up at 7:00 A.M. during summer vacation and following a rigid schedule throughout the day. Our kids do need a vacation from the rigors of school and summer is the perfect opportunity for such a break. On the other hand, parents shouldn’t throw structure to the wind completely! It’s tempting to let bedtimes slide and routine diminish over the summer months, but a flexible schedule will ensure that your child is getting plenty of rest and spending a good portion of her day productively.
- Go on Field Trips – You don’t have to have a school bus and fifty noisy kids to take a field trip. Load up your kiddos (OK, it’s probably still going to be noisy) and head to a local museum, farm, business, historical site or other educational venue. Your kids will enjoy the outing and hopefully learn something new in the process. Make sure to call the place you will be touring ahead of time to see if you need to schedule a time to visit.
With a little effort and creativity you can send your kid back to school sharp and ready to learn. If you want to help your little one improve their reading skills, visit us at Red Apple Reading and try out our online reading program for free!