During the summer months, children often experience what is known as the “summer slide”, a decrease in academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer vacation. Studies show that 78% of students fall behind in mathematics and 73% percent fall behind in reading during the summer. Because of the pandemic the “summer slide” is expected to be even worse due to distance learning obstacles and is being called the “COVID slide.”
Fortunately, there are methods to help prevent “COVID slide” and close the achievement gap during summer break. According to the National Education Association, parents should set aside time to read with their children. Reading can help to meet emotional needs, such as coping with stress and also meet educational needs. Reading also helps to stimulate language development and develop language skills that are critical to children becoming successful readers.
“One of the best things to have your children do this summer is read,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Grant Compliance Manager Hollie Booker. “Reading should take place for at least 20 minutes per day. You can read with your child or have them read on their own and have them summarize what they read.”
Finding fun ways to get books this summer can help to engage children. Using interactive activities to engage in reading can go a long way. Parents and children can explore a book store from their local library, or go online to find book lists and come up with reading challenges that will motivate children to read more this summer.
“Reading doesn’t have to be just books,” said Booker. It can be any type of text, such as menus, song lyrics, poems, magazine articles, online articles, or blogs for example.”
Mathematics is another crucial skill that children should exercise throughout the summer months. Engaging in math activities such as math bingo, math jeopardy or even simply reviewing math flashcards can help children to maintain fundamental math skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
“Students always need practice with basic math skills,” said Booker. “Review addition and subtraction with numbers 1-10 for students going into grades K and 1. Review addition and subtraction with numbers 1-100 for students going into grades 2-3. Review multiplication and division with numbers 1-12 for students going into grades 4-5. Review multi-digit multiplication and division for grades six and higher. Make the practice fun with dry erase boards, dice, card games or exercise.”
The amount of time a child spends reading and practicing math skills is directly connected to preventing summer learning loss and promoting long-term success. Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County has created a website dedicated to helping children stay engaged and on-track during the summer months. BGCatHome has fun, educational activities broken down by age groups and topics. It’s easy for both parents and children to navigate to find reading, mathematics and STEM activites that can be done from home. Click on the button below to start exploring a fun way to prevent the “COVID slide.”
Other Resources and methods to help prevent the academic Summer Slide:
- PBC Library 2021 Virtual reading Program: https://bit.ly/3xikx7b
- PBC Library Digital Events for Teens: http://events.pbclibrary.org/events/digital-activities/teens
- PBC Library Digital Events for Children: http://events.pbclibrary.org/kids-and-teens/kids/classes
- Online Stories for elementary students: https://storylineonline.net/library/
- Online learning games for elementary students: https://www.abcya.com/
- Online learning for grades K-2: https://www.starfall.com/h/
- Learn about science for all grades: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/
- Learn about sports for all grades: https://www.sikids.com/
- Online tutorials for all grades: https://www.khanacademy.org/
- Are you ready for the next grade? Take the Readiness Check: https://bit.ly/3zkBz66