“Kids deserve a real break, especially this year. But they shouldn’t avoid academic reinforcement entirely.”
By Abby Freireich and Brian Platzer
After a year filled with disruptions, many parents are worried about how to prevent the “summer slide”—a significant decrease in reading and math skills over summer break, a phenomenon that hits poor kids particularly hard. The summer slide is a real problem, and we don’t want to diminish it, but particularly after the year that we’ve all just been through, kids deserve a chance to have fun, run around outside with friends, and relax. Now is the time, as much as is feasible, to let kids feel as little anxiety as possible. They’ve earned it. We all have.
Fun should be the priority, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid academic reinforcement entirely. Carve out some time for literacy and math, making both a regular part of your daily routine. By far the best single move you can make to reduce learning loss is to create an environment where your child reads for 20 to 30 minutes every day and that incorporates regular math practice. With reading, you’ll want to make it as interactive as possible, engaging in discussions about the text so your child can practice comprehension and drawing inferences. When it comes to math, try to connect concepts to real life, whether your kids are calculating ratios when making lemonade, or estimating how many scoops of sand might fill a pail or a sandbox…
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