Top Ways to Prevent Summer Slide for Kids
- Jun 18, 2015
The contemporary world represents a constant rat race – the race to achieve excellence in every field, the race to be superior to peers, and to taste victory. Such a fierce degree of competitiveness necessitates kids to progress at twice the pace as their parents did when they were their age! No matter how unfair that might sound, this is the bitter truth.It reminds me of the famous theory of Charles Darwin termed as the ‘Survival of the Fittest’.No wonder, kids today are striving to meet parental expectations by devoting quality time to academics, even if that would require them to compromise on their playing schedule! And youngsters sweat it out even during their summer vacations, honing their reading and language skills in a summer learning program?Yes, you heard it right, dear parents.If you aim to contribute to the psychological, personal, and academic expansions of your children, it is high time you start ensuring that they don’t become victims of the ‘summer slide’.Summer Slide – a Brief IdeaHow many of you are familiar with the term Summer Slide?It refers to the loss of learning that is observed in most kids when they are away from their school premises for a long time. Since the summer holidays mark a period of time that witnesses the ‘sliding back’ of basic knowledge imbibed throughout the academic year, this type of a learning loss is termed as summer slide. Staying away from the school, there is lack of exercise during the summer season. This seems to deactivate the thinking cells of the brains of the students, making them rusty when their schools re-open.And when I say ‘exercise’, I mean that kids should be exposed to a fair amount of activities that promote the growth of cognitive and reading skills.Wondering what actually triggers summer slide in kids?Here’s a quick look.
Academic institutions generally stimulate interest in learners in education, thanks to many exciting activities including:
- group projects
- individual assignments
- school trips
An absence of these learning events during summer months check the ability of their brains to absorb new information and analyze the pre-existing information. Not only that, young learners also end up being afflicted with the Oblivion’s Curse, which erases all forms of knowledge that they might have learnt previously.This leads to a ‘knowledge gap’ among youngsters.
Role of Parents in Preventing Summer Slide Several parents possess a vague idea about the manifold ways in which they can prevent summer slide in their children. Some parents enroll their kids for swimming lessons, scout camps, horse camps, volleyball camps, and so on. I have also come across some parents who prefer taking their families out for trips during the summer holiday break.But, parents must think of innovative techniques that would enable them to check the tendency of learning loss in kids during the long summer vacations.For instance, you might focus on summer activities that make efforts to improve your child’s critical thinking skills. Why not let your kids join summer programs that would develop their Math skills and expertise in reading?Continue reading to discover some unique ideas to keep summer slide at bay for your kids.
#1. Inculcate Reading HabitsStudents are entitled to a good amount of leisure as soon as their summer holidays commence. During this time, kids are free to experiment with their hobbies. While some of them might love to go for a movie or head for the beach, others might be eager to explore other alternatives. For examples, your kids might want to visit the local park and play with their friends.However, as parents you should seize this opportunity to inculcate a reading habit among your kids. And it’s not difficult at all.
Encouraging Your Kid to Read Books about His Activity
Motivate your child to read a few books about his daily activities or, even better, about his passion. If your kid likes watching movies, get them books that would educate them on the basic knowledge about films.
Is your kid really interested in playing basketball?
You could purchase him a book that speaks about a few of the famous basketball players in your country. Before your child saunters out, urge him to read the book. It would enhance the general awareness of your kid as well as develop a reading habit in him.
Once your child starts reading about the activities that appeal to him, you would notice how excited he is to discuss the newly acquired knowledge with you over dinner!
Visit the Local Library with Him
Summer holidays normally extend to over two months. Therefore you would require more than one book that you can hand over to your kid. I would suggest you check if there is a library in your locality.
Now if you indeed have one, you are lucky!
If your kid is yet to sign up for a library membership card, don’t forget to visit your local library immediately. Boasting of a wide range of books on varied subjects and interests, your kids would certainly enjoy reading the diverse collection.
For, most libraries are enriched with a books that are children-friendly and contain beautiful images that are powerful enough to captivate young children.
Another wonderful way to make your kids read books is the ‘rule of six books’. As per recent research findings, reading a minimum of six books in summer are enough to reduce chances of regression of knowledge in kids. As a parent, you need to be extremely cautious while choosing these six books.
Ideally, the books should neither be too redundant nor too simple.
If your kid belongs to the third standard, all the six books that you have accumulated should match up to levels of their grade. Moreover, some libraries conduct reading programs during the summer holidays, and you can bring along your kid to the library to participate in such lively reading sessions!
Schedule Reading Activities
Musical lessons, summer camps and indulging in video games are a few of the activities that keep kids busy during summer holidays. But, there is a flipside to it. Children often end up becoming too exhausted by the end of the day, after being a part of all these activities.
So, they can hardly squeeze out time to pursue their reading habits.
Here is a quick tip for parents: schedule your child’s reading sessions intelligently so that they are capable of spending some time of the day in reading activities.
- Morning: Open the newspaper and ask your child to read the headlines. He might even read out the pieces of comics available in the newspaper or the daily weather predictions.
- Daytime: Throughout the day, your child should actively participate in reading magazines, e-books meant for kids, or television schedules.
- Evening: What is the book that your child is currently reading? Ask him to read out a chapter or any paragraph from that book to you, before he goes out to play with his friends.
If he falters anywhere, encourage him to re-read that portion. It would be immensely beneficial for students who struggle with their reading exercises.
Stories excite each and every child.
So, this evening, turn into a storyteller for your little one. You can choose from a series of fairytales and read them aloud to your kids. I bet students of any age would be delighted to hear them. However, prior to your storytelling session, confirm the areas of interests of your kids.
And when you are narrating any story, don’t forget to modulate your voice with every character. You can also wear a funny hat as you do so, or use props to add a touch of ‘personal creativity’ to your reading activities.
This would empower students in more ways than one.
First of all, it would build great listening skills among youngsters. In addition, it would also help them work on their comprehensive skills. It would make them more at ease while dealing with their reading lessons at school.
#2. Take Virtual Field Trips
Information technology has made our lives amazingly convenient. In fact, it acts as a vast encyclopedia that educates mankind of anything and everything. No wonder, innumerable learners, educators, and learning communities utilize it in different ways to assimilate information from online resources.The Internet is truly a fascinating medium that would aid you in exploring your surroundings. It brings the world at your fingertips!All you require is the knowledge necessary to employ it in the best possible way.For instance, you can guide your kids to use some of the numerable virtual field trips that are available on the Internet. I am serious! You can take a stroll around the Eiffel Tower or wander amidst a rainforest thanks to some really stunning ‘digital trip’ facilities offered by some websites.Conducting virtual field trips is a brand new technique that helps the kids to enjoy their learning experience.
#3. Engage in Word Games
A majority of the students have a tough time with their vocabulary.All of a sudden, while writing an essay for their English exam, some kids discover that they are unable to implement the appropriate words to express themselves. So, yes, building a strong vocabulary is important for the students.You can utilize this summer holiday by investing your time in some thrilling word games, which can help in the long run to create an amazing vocabulary for your kid.
- Jot down some words that are completely alien to your kid on a piece of paper and stick them to your refrigerator. Every time your kid uses this word, keep putting a tick mark next to it. It would help you track the number of times he uses the word.
- You can also arrange for a ‘Family Spelling Bee’ contest every week during your kid’s summer holiday break. This practice would motivate your child to be more serious about improving his vocabulary.
- Another effective way to expand your child’s vocabulary is to play a game of ‘Scrabble’ with them.
#4. Create a Garden at Home
Nothing like a sight of lush greenery to nourish your soul and soothe your senses. Inspire your child to plant a few saplings in your lawn or your verandah from today onwards.Besides, gardens are some of the best places that would come to your aid in terms of teaching your kids about plants and the environment.Teach your kids how to plant a seed and nurture plants by watering them and adding fertilizers. While you are doing so, you might explain the process of ‘photosynthesis’ to your children. Kids learn much more swiftly when they notice practical applications of the knowledge they imbibe.Moreover, kids learn the values of responsibility when they notice how a tiny seedling grows up to become a lovely plant or a tree. It also develops a sense of aesthetic values in youngsters.
#5. Complete Math puzzles
Logic puzzles or ‘Sudoku’ are some games that stimulate the critical thinking skills in students. Also, such games assist you in helping your kids practice their Math skills.Since Math is perceived as the most challenging subject, a large number of kids find it tough to deal with it. Consequently, they end up scoring miserable grades in this seemingly ‘terrifying’ subject.As you already know, practice makes a man perfect. Therefore, make sure your kid spends quality time in completing the games related to Math and logical reasoning during his vacation.
#6. Enroll Your Kid to Summer Programs
Last but not the least, you should definitely consider enrolling your kid to summer learning programs. Generally conducted at schools, college campuses, or even at museums, these programs are proven to equip students with a considerable amount of expertise.Summer camps offer multiple options to students. For instance, certain summer learning programs focus on imparting reading and language literacy skills to learners.On the other hand, a few camps emphasize on sports and other types of physical activities.Choose the one that best meets the goals of your child!Wishing you and your kids all the very best for this summer season. If you know about some more ideas that can spice up the summer holidays for kids and, at the same time, be quite helpful, why not share them with us in the comments section provided below? We would love to welcome your ideas!
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