Submitted by jbraun on

Ten tips to help keep your child's brain growing during summer vacation.

The summer slide is a phrase used to describe the backward slide in academic skills many children experience during the summer. Studies have shown students lose nearly 20 percent of their school-year gains in reading and 27 percent in math. How can you help avoid the slide?

  1. Read! Encourage reading throughout the day. Overdrive has ample titles to choose from. Children can also read text found in everyday life, such as schedules, labels and road signs.  Reading as little as 20 minutes a day can go a long way.
  2. Learn locally. Take a field trip to a local park or walking trail. If any of your favorite places aren’t open, take a virtual tour.
  3. Cook together. Following a recipe has so many benefits! Not only are kids working on fine motor skills, but they are also improving reading and math skills, and the ability to focus and follow directions.
  4. Explore an audiobook. Audiobooks can help model interpretive reading, teach critical listening, and introduce new genres, vocabulary and even a new reading level to students.
  5. Play math games. Check out these math resources, including free online games for various grade levels.
  6. Read out loud. Read your child’s current book out loud to them or allow them to pick out a picture book to read to a sibling.
  7. Journaling. Ask your child to write a daily journal of the things they’ve experienced or learned each day. Journaling helps to deal with feelings, and improves writing and communication skills.
  8. Start a book club! Whether your meetings are in person or digital, kids learn to read for enjoyment and take ownership of their reading. In discussions, they’ll learn communication and reading comprehension skills.
  9. Play family games. Games with words, such as Apples to Apples, help to improve vocabulary.
  10. Try a new craft with Creativebug or an instructional ebook.