The Summer Slide

on Monday, June 1, 2015
While we are all looking forward to a break over the summer and a chance to relax and  “recharge” our batteries, it is important that students maintain what they have learned during the year.  Students who do not read or are not involved in any sort of practice over the summer will usually regress quite significantly. This phenomenon is known as the "summer slide". Studies dating back 100 years show that students over the summer typically fall behind an average of 1 to 2 months in reading and lose about 2.6 months of math computational skills! Research shows that teachers spend an average of one month simply re-teaching skills that students forgot over the summer, which means one less month available to teach new skills.

For our many ESOL students, being away from an English speaking environment can lead to a significant regression in their newly learned English skills.

The good news is that there are simple ways to keep this from happening to your child. Below are a few links to articles with great tips for beating the summer slide. Some of these have already been shared with some of you through classroom teachers’ blogs:
  • Read with your child in English or any language you feel comfortable reading in everyday. Discuss the book: What happened? Who are the characters? Where does the book take place? How do the characters feel?
  • Read different kinds of books and reading materials: Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, ebooks, magazines, cereal boxes! Whatever you can get your hands on. If you don't have many English books, you can read websites, start a book trade with friends that do, or visit a library.
  • Have your child keep a travel journal.
  • Give your child a notebook and let them write everyday.  They can accompany their writing with pictures as they want. Ask them to share what they have written.  Give them praise for writing.  Ask questions about what they have written, such as, can you tell me more about....., or what will he/she do next?  This journal should not be corrected.   And it is OK if your child wants to write similar stories everyday.  
  • Do puzzles together
  • Play board games that involve spinners or rolling the dice and following rules.
  • Sing songs that you know and talk about if there are any rhyming words, word play, or other interesting sounds to take note of.

You'll notice that key among the tips is READING daily. 

High school students have been given reading lists to help them prepare for next school year. If you have misplaced them, refer to the home page of the website. They should read as many of these books as possible to give them a good start for the new school year.

Also as you sit in airports or on long car journeys, practice basic math facts (addition, subtraction and multiplication) with your child. As a family, play general knowledge or vocabulary building games – these can be fun for the whole family.

You can also explore various online programs (fees vary) such as:

- IXL, a site that allows students to practice math and language arts for $9.95/month: (many of our elementary school students already have a user name and password to this site)

- Time for Writing, which has 8-week, one-on-one writing courses for $99:


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