Life Skills

What is the “Summer Slide”?

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The “Summer Slide” refers to the Summer Break loss of academic achievement from the previous school year. As standardized school testing increasingly spits out data, educators and parents are trying to head off the damage. Children retain 70% of what is taught in school, leaving 30% of the knowledge in the gap.

The NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) website states, “On average, students show a drop of between 3-5 RIT points, relative to gains of 4-16 RIT points during the school year. The RIT score is a student’s reading and math level at any given moment and helps measure their academic growth over time. The table is universally accepted by educators as solid and reliable to chart a student’s growth. One of the chief issues with the decrease in points is that teachers spend the first quarter of the rising school year trying to play catch-up with reviews and reteaches instead of new, grade-level material.

Between camp, BBQs, family vacations, most parents can conjure up images of the reading lethargy that kicks with the July humidity. Everyone is driven indoors and it is easy and familiar to let the kids have screen time. The weeks race by and suddenly school is on the horizon.

Educators promote practicing basic math facts and reading 20-30 minutes every night during the academic year. This can easily be achieved in a well-rounded after-school program that individualizes an academic plan for each child as part of the daily curriculum that also includes physical activity and hands-on learning to keep them engaged.

But how do we keep our children excited about learning over Summer Break? They aren’t learning all day in a classroom and 20 minutes just isn’t going to keep their young brains engaged. The obvious answer is to source from the outside. Whether there is a stay-at-home parent or a two-parent working household, an education-based half or full-day camp will enrich their knowledge, give them variety, and keep the brain muscles working.

Then, healthy learning habits at home are the icing on the cake and augment your child’s education all Summer whether you are modeling reading behavior, reading together, playing math-centered games, or even engaging in a Summer Reading Program at the county library. Invite an educational camp experience into your child’s life, and the rewards will benefit you and them for many years to come.

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