Summertime is a wonderful time for children to recharge and relax after a long school year. Unfortunately, it is also a time when many of the skills they’ve gained throughout the year are lost, causing “Summer Slide.” According to the Brookings Institute, Summer Slide means that students will begin the academic year at a lower level than they were when summer began. Skills like reading and math will decrease when they are not reinforced over the summer months. While the downtime is also restorative and important, making sure that your child gets off to a great start in the fall is, too.
What are some of your most memorable learning experiences growing up? A field trip to the zoo? Dissecting a frog? Getting messy during a big art project? My guess is most of the things that made an impact on you as a child, or teenager, did not involve sitting at your desk or in front of a computer.
Ideally, education is a partnership between a family and a school. There are many ways to strengthen that relationship, and clear and respectful communication is a necessary component. Parents can also help to reinforce classroom learning by encouraging children to share and apply what they have learned at home. When a child is enthusiastic about learning, they not only retain information better, they also expand their skills as they find new ways to use what they have learned. Classroom lessons that feel relevant to “real life” outside school tend to stick with students longer. Applying lessons at home can also be fun. Most importantly, being involved with your child’s learning can strengthen family bonds.