Summer is almost upon us. But this year, can we really address summer slide? We don’t want to overwhelm our students and families with unreasonable expectations. “Summer slide” is a phenomenon that typically occurs in the summer months when school is not in session. Research demonstrates that kids who are not actively learning and reading during summer vacation tend to slip behind in their reading and learning abilities by the time school starts in the fall. English Language Learners (ELLs) and low-income kids tend to be the most affected by the summer slide. So, how do you combat that summer slide after our global pandemic, school closures and more families struggling to stay at home?” Here are five practical tips for parents for continued support.
1) Family Reading
Parents can encourage family reading sessions to get their kids reading during the summer. ELL parents can choose interesting bilingual books that their whole family can relate to. Lectura Books offers an array of bilingual books for all ages. Parents can make family reading a habit that continues well into the school year and beyond. The more families read together, the more everyone is learning together.
2) Focus On Vocabulary
Teaching kids new vocabulary words is an easy way to fight the summer slide. Parents can create flashcards that feature age-appropriate words and definitions. Also, parents can play vocabulary games, such a guessing games such as Snowman. Any activity that gets children thinking about new words and how to use them in sentences is ideal.
3) Build Oral Language
Parents can help build their kids’ oral language skills by reading and talking with them. The more parents read aloud to their kids, the more vocabulary words they will begin to develop. When kids hear words spoken repeatedly and in certain contexts, they are able to build a bank of vocabulary that they can use in school and life for years to come. Additionally, parents can teach their children new songs that describe their routine and experiences. It is also helpful for parents to create a journal for children to
4) Communicate With Teachers
Prior to the end of the school year, teachers should encourage parents to communicate with them for ideas on how to ensure that their children will continue to learn throughout the summer. Teachers can provide workbooks, a list of books, and ideas for activities that parents can use with their kids. Teachers can can receive FREE bilingual STEM activities for family engagement from Lectura Books with purchase of a set of bilingual books.
5) Provide Proper Materials
Parents should take their kids to their local library regularly to choose a variety of books, and get new books throughout the summer, but our libraries may be closed this summer. Parents can ask teachers if they any resources for home reading. Teachers might be able to pull together literacy packets with home activities involving books and creative learning to combat a decline in reading. For Spanish-speaking families, it would be helpful to provide bilingual books for full participation between parents and kids.
Five Tips for Parents Combatting “Summer Slide”