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Preventing the Summer Slide

Tips for Educators to Share with Families

As the school year draws to a close and summer approaches, it’s important to address a common concern: the "summer slide." This term refers to the learning loss many students experience during the summer months when they are out of school. Research has shown that students can lose up to two months of reading skills and a month of math skills over the summer if they do not engage in educational activities (Cooper et al., 1996).

For our youngest learners in kindergarten through second grade, preventing the summer slide is crucial. These early years are foundational for developing essential skills in literacy and numeracy. Here are some practical tips and resources that educators can share with families to help keep their children’s minds active and engaged throughout the summer.

1. Make Reading a Daily Habit

Reading is one of the most effective ways to prevent the summer slide. Encourage families to make reading a daily habit. Here are some tips to share:

  • Set a Reading Routine: Designate a specific time each day for reading. This could be before bedtime, after lunch, or any other time that fits into the family’s daily schedule.

  • Visit the Library: Take advantage of local libraries. Many libraries offer summer reading programs that include incentives and activities to keep children motivated.

  • Create a Reading List: Suggest age-appropriate books and provide a reading list. Websites like Scholastic and Reading Rockets offer great book recommendations for K-2 students. 

2. Incorporate Educational Games and Activities

Learning doesn’t have to be limited to books. Educational games and activities can make learning fun and interactive.

  • Math Games: Recommend games that focus on basic math skills. Websites like Cool Math Games and apps like SplashLearn offer interactive and enjoyable math games for young learners.

  • Science Exploration: Encourage families to explore science through hands-on activities. Simple experiments, nature walks, and visiting science museums can spark curiosity and learning.

3. Promote Writing Practice

Writing is another essential skill that can be easily practiced during the summer.

  • Journaling: Suggest that children keep a summer journal. They can write about their daily adventures, describe their favorite activities, or even create stories.

  • Letter Writing: Encourage children to write letters to family members or friends. This not only improves writing skills but also helps maintain social connections.

4. Use Technology Wisely

Technology can be a powerful tool for learning when used appropriately.

  • Educational Apps: Recommend apps that provide educational content in an engaging way. Apps like ABCmouse and Starfall offer a variety of learning activities tailored to young children.

  • Online Resources: Share links to websites that offer free educational resources. For example, Khan Academy Kids provides interactive lessons in math, reading, and more.

5. Encourage Real-Life Learning

Learning opportunities are all around us, even outside of traditional educational settings.

  • Cooking Together: Cooking can teach children about measurements, fractions, and following instructions.

  • Gardening: Gardening activities can introduce children to basic science concepts and develop their observational skills.

  • Field Trips: Visits to local zoos, museums, and parks can be both educational and fun.

Preventing the summer slide requires a collaborative effort between educators and families. By providing families with practical tips and resources, we can help ensure that our K-2 students continue to grow and learn during the summer months. Keeping young minds active doesn’t have to be a daunting task; with a little creativity and consistency, learning can be an enjoyable part of summer break.

For more information on preventing the summer slide and additional resources, please visit Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge, Reading Rockets, and Khan Academy Kids.

Let’s work together to make this summer a season of growth and discovery for our students!


  • Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores: A Narrative and Meta-Analytic Review. Review of Educational Research, 66(3), 227-268.

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