How to Stop the Slide and Keep Your Kids Learning All Summer Long

Will your kids slide this summer?

Sliding through summer

This is the good kind of summer slide!


No, not that kind of slide. Although it is a fun way to spend a hot Florida day.

The “summer slide” happens when busy school days give way to summer fun, and lessons learned melt away like ice cream on a sunny day. Studies show that students can lose up to two months of learning over the summer months, and even more for low-income children. Next thing you know, school starts up again and your little scholars find themselves in need of a refresher.

But with just a little planning, you can help your kids retain that precious knowledge.

Build a Summer Reading List

Scholastic, the provider of children’s literature to schools across the country, recommends kids read six books during the summer break. Here are some ideas to help get that reading time in.

  • Get suggestions for titles from your child’s teacher
  • Google “kids summer reading list” and narrow down results by age and reading level.
  • Make it fun! Let your kids choose books based on their interests.
Choose the right books for your kids

My son is a sports fanatic, so his teacher recommended these Matt Christopher books.


Vacation Destination Education

Big plans this summer? Use them to boost your kids’ learning experience!  

Sit the kids down with a map (or a globe, if you’re headed a bit further afield) and help them find your family’s vacation spot. Then set them loose to learn all about it. They can do an internet search, check out library books, create artwork, or learn about the food of your destination.

Their research can get them excited about visiting a new place, and lead them to try some new experiences when you’re there. Best of all, they’re building research and reading skills that can carry over to the next school year.

Summer Learning to Help Kids Beat the Summer Slide

Math and Science and Everything Else

While doing that all-important summer reading, you might want to sneak in a few other subjects as well. Some ideas:

  • Take a nature walk on a local trail and let kids record what they see. Here are a few suggestions that are right here in the Tampa Bay area from our own TB Mom Blogger Kali.
  • Practice measurements by cooking together.
  • How about math and counting? PBS has some A+ tips for number-crunching here.
  • Summer Brain Quest – A learning program specifically geared to summer, this series guides you through grade-appropriate activities. Kids add stickers to a “path” as they complete each one. My kid loves mazes and maps, so I think we’ll try this one.

What do you think? Do you have more ideas to help beat the summer slide? Tell us how you plan to keep your kids’ learning from slip-sliding away.

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