Summer Slide is No Joke!
Anyone who has been through school or has students who are school-aged right now knows that the term “Summer Slide” is the real deal. This refers to the very real occurrence during the summer months when students tend to “slack off” of the academics that dominated their daily routines all throughout the school year. As a result, their skills naturally begin to “slide” a bit from not flexing that mental muscle on a regular basis. Yes, I know the brain is not technically a muscle, but it’s a great analogy to make. What happens when you don’t exercise your real muscles? That’s right…they begin to lose their power and strength and something similar can happen with students and their learning.
All through the school year, students are practicing their reading fluency and comprehension skills across all subjects, they are applying their mathematical reasoning skills to situations and/or they have daily reasons to work through those math problems using all of the skills that apply.
Then comes summer vacation. The alarm clock stops ringing, they aren’t reporting to school every morning and they usually aren’t sitting around working out mathematical equations for fun. Friends, fun and sun replace academia and thus, the “Summer Slide.”
Friends, fun and sun are what summer is all about and, well, it should be! Life is meant to be lived and memories are meant to made, right? But it is very possible to find a balance between work and play in the summer so that the transition back to school on the first day is less of a hurdle. If you’re a parent, you can appreciate the joys of forcing your children to get out of the pool to read a book, to put down the electronics to write in a journal, or the eye rolls you get when you sneak some math skill work into your daily routine. It’s fun, right? (Insert eye roll here.)
Whether you have a child entering their next year of elementary school, a child venturing into the world of middle school in the fall or a high school student about to tackle Algebra or Chemistry, a sprinkle of academics here and there throughout the summer to keep those mental muscles on track for a smooth start to the school year is critical. Some parents feel confident in providing that little something extra on their own and others would prefer to bring in a tutor to cover the academic gap that summer brings. Either way, some regular tutoring and practice can help ensure that the only sliding they do over the summer is at the playground!
Have you used or considered using a tutor for your child over the summer months? Tell us about it in the comments or let us know if you have questions about keeping the academic flow going over the summer!
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