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10 From GEM: 10 Tips To Keep Your Kids Off The Summer Slide

Creative Commons/willg photography

Creative Commons/willg photography

10 From GEM:
10 Tips To Keep Your Kids Off The Summer Slide

Don’t let the fun sounding name summer slide fool you! It’s not the newest attraction at the water park. Summer slide is a very real phenomenon that happens when young minds sit idle for weeks and months during summer break. Any skills that were gained over the course of the school year are quickly lost without some kind of engagement, causing students to be behind when the new school year begins. Summer slide happens in all subjects, but its effects are more pronounced in math and reading. Follow these 10 tips to stop the slide in its tracks.

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1. ENROLL KIDS IN A
SUMMER PROGRAM

Creative Commons/Auburn Alumni Association

Creative Commons/Auburn Alumni Association

Quality is key. You don’t want your children in a program that’s just killing time. They should be engaged in a variety of mental and physical activities. The program doesn’t have to be all math and reading to be effective. Look for art or theater camps or other programs that interest your children. Check with your local school system or parks and recreation department.

Read more: Make Sure You Are Ready For Summer Fun With A Discount From BuyDig.com

 2. TALK TO THEIR TEACHERS

Creative Commons/Santa Barbara Catholic School

Creative Commons/Santa Barbara Catholic School

If you have no idea where to start, talk to your children’s teachers. Most teachers will be happy to suggest activities you can do at home that are related to the coursework that was done over the school year. They can also recommend websites to browse and workbooks to buy. My daughter’s kindergarten teacher is putting together a packet of worksheets that covers the skills she taught. I’m planning on setting aside 20 minutes a day to work with her on the packet.

Read more: Ask Rene: I HATE Volunteering At My Kids’ School!

3. VISIT THE DOLLAR STORE

Alexis Trass Walker

Alexis Trass Walker

The dollar store is the perfect place to look for basic materials because everything is cheap. Most dollar stores have a stationery section where you might find school supplies and workbooks for young children. Pictured above are some of the activity books and workbooks I bought from the dollar store for my daughters. If there are no workbooks, buy paper, poster boards, markers, crayons, etc. and have your child create something every day. You can also check out teacher supply stores for more specialized material and activities for older children, but beware—they tend to be pricey.

Read more: 10 From GEM: Keep Your Cash.. 10 Ways To Cut Grocery Costs

4. ENCOURAGE EXPLORATION

Creative Commons/kuehlonlocation

Creative Commons/kuehlonlocation

Use the slowness of summer to your advantage. This is the perfect time of year to encourage your kids to explore the world around them. Lay on a blanket, stare at the night sky, and talk about the constellations. Take a walk and make a game of pointing out obscure things. Encourage them to ask questions about everything and find the answers together when you don’t know them. The idea here is to keep your kids thinking critically and creatively.

Read more: Teens And Technology: Are You Fostering A Learning Environment?

5. VISIT MUSEUMS AND ZOOS

Creative Commons/GregRob

Creative Commons/GregRob

You probably already do this anyway, but try to visit less popular attractions. You’ll beat the crowds and you may find exhibits or animals that you won’t find at larger facilities. Check out your local historical society, too. If you’re a native of your area, you probably don’t think too much about learning the local history. You’d be surprised what you and your kids will learn when you act like tourists in your own town.

Read more: 10 From GEM: Fun And Easy Things To Do With Your Preteen

6. COOK TOGETHER

Creative Commons/NC San Diego Cooking Classes

Creative Commons/NC San Diego Cooking Classes

Cooking and baking involve math, reading, following directions, critical thinking, and decision making. Have each child plan a menu for the day based on what they like to eat or what they would most like to try their hands at cooking. You may end up with a few messes and disastrous meals, but it will be a learning experience for your kids and provide great memories as they get older.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Meals You Can Prepare In 10 Minutes

7. CREATE A GAME

Creative Commons/Geoffery Kehrig

Creative Commons/Geoffery Kehrig

Do you want your children to develop their leadership and teamwork abilities, creativity, and determination? Creating a game does all this and more. Whether it’s a board game, a sport, or an app, a lot of brain power goes into developing an original game.

Read more: 10 From GEM: Easy Indoor Activities For Big Kids

8. START A FAMILY BLOG

Creative Commons/owenwbrown

Creative Commons/owenwbrown

Doing a blog is like keeping a journal; it’s just online for all the world to see. Friends and family can keep up with the goings-on in your household and your kids get to build up their reading and writing skills. One good idea might be to have each family member take turns posting something. It doesn’t need to be lengthy or structured: it could be a favorite recipe one day, an uploaded drawing another day.

Read more: PLAY NICE! And 9 More Life Lessons From Disney

9. PLAY CARD GAMES

Creative Commons/scrapitsideways

Creative Commons/scrapitsideways

When you want kids to keep their math skills fresh, play card games like Concentration or Math Card War. You can buy flash cards, if you like, but a deck of playing cards can serve multiple purposes.

Read more: Monday Morning Motivation: If You Build It (WELL), They Will Come

10. READ

Creative Commons/adwriter

Creative Commons/adwriter

Reading is arguably the single most important activity a child can engage in to resist learning loss. Reading for school is usually highly structured and not always interesting to kids. Summer reading should be relaxed and combined with other fun activities. Here are a few strategies to encourage summer reading:

  • If you’re going to the aquarium, for example, encourage your children to read a book about sea animals. Headed to a baseball game? Have your children read about a famous player.
  • Use your local library. Let your children choose the books they really want to read. Get them enrolled in a summer reading program.
  • Reading doesn’t have to be with a book only. Have plenty of magazines, newspapers, and other reading material around the house.
  • Make sure you’re reading yourself and that your children see you reading.
  • Read aloud to one another and/or read a book together and discuss it.
  • Read books on which summer movies are based. For example, Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters will be released this August. Start reading the book now, check out the movie later, and discuss whether the movie lived up to the book.

Read more: Monday Morning Motivation: When To Hold, When To Fold, How To Tell The Difference

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What are you doing to keep your kids sharp all summer? Share your ideas below.

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10 From GEM: 10 Lessons To Teach Kids Of All Ages

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10 From GEM: Keep Your Cash.. 10 Ways To Cut Grocery Costs

 

picmonkey alexis

 Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is a stay at home mom and writer who loves all things chocolate. Read more about Alexis on her blog lilliebelle.org, email her at alexistrasswalker@gmail.com, or follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5.

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10 Comments

  1. akshay Kaushik

    June 16, 2015 at 3:11 am

    It is mandatory to have the kids engage in something. as the old saying goes ” Idle mind is a devils workshop”.

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