4 Helpful Tips to Prevent the “Summer Slide”

Here are some tips to make the most of the time off!

July 9, 2018
Photo by Daniel Ruyter on Unsplash

Photo by Daniel Ruyter on Unsplash


Each fall, teachers work with students who have experienced the all-too-common “summer slide”. Symptoms include learning loss, forgetting math formulas, and even a decrease in vocabulary. Keeping academic skills intact is a concern for many parents. After all, we want our students to be ready to make progress when school starts next September, rather than spending the first few weeks playing “catch up”.

Here are a few ideas on how to avoid the “summer slide”:

  1. Read, Read, Read! Did you know? First grade students can hear and understand books at a 3rd – 4th grade level even if they cannot read them alone. Whether you are spending time reading to your child, or letting older ones read alone, spending as little as 20 minutes a day with a book can help students retain the vocabulary and comprehension skills taught during the school year. Head to your local library or download this summer’s hottest new titles and encourage daily reading at the beach, in the backyard, or just before going to bed.
  2. Stay Active! Summer can be a great time to try new activities offered in your local community. Churches, 4-H clubs, and local library and community centers frequently offer summer programs at little to no cost, which keep young minds and bodies engaged over the summer. From swimming lessons to horseback riding, learning new skills can challenge the mind and help students focus on their studies in the long run. You can often find local community centers teaching chess or other strategy games which also challenge and engage the mind.
  3. Writing - Show your child that writing is not limited to a report or paper. Encourage your child to keep a summer journal, find a Penpal, send thank-you notes or write a family member a postcard from a family trip. You can also ask your child to write book and movie reviews for family members or find a safe place for your child to “blog.”
  4. Problem Solving - Cook, bake, build, keep a checkbook register (for a pretend checking account), and play lots of board games and card games together. Rainy day? Pull out a puzzle the whole family can work on. The kids will be surprised by how fun such a simple activity can be, and you’ll enjoy the quality time, too! These are all great ways to include math and problem solving into everyday activities! 

If you think it might be time for a school change this Fall, check out all that PA Virtual Charter School has to offer. PA Virtual is currently enrolling grades K-12 for next school year and is ready to answer any questions you have about how virtual school works and about the enrollment process.