As we dive right into the summer season, you might hear the phrase “summer slide” being thrown around in educational circles. What does this phrase mean? What is it referring to? Is it a good thing or something you might want to do what you can to avoid?
The summer slide refers to the regression of skills, content knowledge, and academic progress that students often experience during the summer months. When assessing what students know at the end of the year (in May or June) and what they demonstrate at the beginning of the next school year (August or September), their academic performance doesn’t always necessarily remain the same, or show growth. In fact, it often shows the opposite of growth- regression.
On the bright side, teachers can (and usually do!) eventually catch students up to make up for the summer slide. However, when students experience the summer slide year after year, it can build up and have a snowball effect, with a much more concerning and lasting impact on a student’s academic performance.
The summer slide is a reality, and there seems to be more talk and proactive actions against it, especially in recent years. That being said, it doesn’t HAVE to be a reality for you and your family!
Here’s what some of our own Dailies teachers have to say about the summer slide and how to prevent it:
“The summer slide is definitely real. I always remind my students and families to continue learning over the summer, the brain is a muscle and if it has nothing to fuel it, it won’t keep growing stronger, it’ll become weaker. You need to learn something! That is the key. Children could revise what they learned during the school year, target the topics and skills that were previously a tad bit difficult and even start to touch on the topics that will be taught in the next school year to get a head start.” – Ms. Atika
“I see the most noticeable Summer Slide in the area of phonics and reading. When school starts back I can always tell who was practicing over the summer and who wasn’t. It’s very important to keep reviewing letter sounds with your pre-reading children and have your beginning readers spend some time reading to you every day. If your kids are reading on their own, help them check out library books over the summer to keep their reading skills in shape. Even a few minutes each day can help your children begin the new school year where they left off, or even ahead of where they were!” – Ms. Stephanie K
“When returning to school in the fall, it is easy to tell which students continued their learning over the summer. These students are ready to jump right into new content instead of completing a beginning of year review to offset the summer slide. Being able to start new content right away saves precious time and gives the students more opportunities to enrich themselves and learn about topics they are interested in.” – Ms. Courtney
“To overcome the summer slide, for some students it’s as easy as getting back into a school groove, but for others it takes intense remediation. As teachers we always cross our fingers that students and their families will take steps to prevent that summer slide. Here is one way that I encourage my students and their families to prevent it: Involve them with math strategies whether it be going to the grocery store and estimating the cost of their favorite snacks or giving them a chore list where they earn ‘Summer Bucks’- these summer bucks can then be used however you see fit.” – Ms. Melissa
“I have seen students drop two or more reading levels without reading over the summer. Reading 20 minutes a day can really help!” – Ms. Stephanie W.
At Dailies, we wholeheartedly believe that summer is a time for family, fun, rest, and opportunities that might not happen throughout the academic year. However, we also believe in the importance of incorporating SOME academic activities to continue exposing students to education year-round and to better prepare students for current and future academic success.
Keep in mind that we have a variety of summer educational offerings, that are less time-consuming and rigorous than some of our academic school year options, to balance out your fun summer months! We currently offer supplementary Pod classes, Enrichment classes, and even Summer Bootcamps. As always, we also have resources and support for you and your child.
Happy summer…without the slide! (Unless you’re at a playground, of course!)