Parents consistently complain about summer because it is the most difficult time to keep their children busy. Teachers are also concerned about children suffering from the "summer slide." That's the tendency for kids to forget reading and other skills they learned in school during the summer. Sometimes children lose a whole grade-level's worth of skills in the summer, requiring them to put in extra time in the fall to catch up with their peers at school.
What can you, as parents, do to prevent the summer slide?
You can keep your children engaged in learning by getting them involved in educational programs and activities during the summer months. Here’s some community resources to explore:
- Your children’s school may offer summer programs.
- Local youth-serving organizations such as 4-H, Boys/Girl Scouts, Boys/Girls Club, and YMCA, may offer summer programs.
- Your local library may offer summer reading programs, and teach kids about other topics like using computers or bike and swimming safety.
- Local museums and parks and recreation departments may offer free or low-cost summer programs for kids.
- Organizations such as your local TV or radio station or post office may offer free tours.
- Organizations may provide short-term volunteer opportunities for the whole family.
Above all, use your imagination to give your children fun learning experiences during the summer. You’ll find making small efforts now to help your children avoid the summer slide will yield big benefits for them in the future.
Looking for more free and low-cost learning opportunities for you and the whole family this summer? Check out our Summer Family Fun on a Budget web page. For more information on Minnesota 4-H, visit http://z.umn.edu/MN4H.