Doneda Bailey
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I had never heard of "Summer Learning Loss" or "The Summer Slide" until recently.  It makes good sense though.  I can remember doing a virtual brain dump during the long summer months when I was younger.  Summer Learning Loss is the loss of academic skills and knowledge during the summer months especially in the areas of math, reading and spelling (1).  Studies have shown that students lose 2 months of grade level equivalency and the impact is cumulative (2)

With a little effort and time you can spark your child's love of learning and keep his or her mind engaged during the summer months.  Here are some fun, practical ideas from our workshop "Slip and Slide:  Preventing Summer Learning Loss".

Our country has such a rich history.  Before you head out for vacation, contact the historical society in the city you will be visiting.  Depending on your vacation destination you may be able to teach your child about any number of topics from the Gold Rush to the Underground Railroad by visiting historical sights and museums.  

List of historical societies by state

And there's an app for that!  Download this Historical Markers app from the iOS store. Using GPS it displays the location of historical markers near your current location. 

For older children turn an upcoming vacation into a project.  Provide them with a budget and location with the incentive that any money saved will be given to them upon approval of their plan.  They must plan the transportation (flight, car rental, etc.), lodging, activities, food options, discretionary money...any costs the family will incur and compile the information into a detailed report.   This project sharpens critical thinking skills, research skills, budgeting, and math.

Cooking with your child incorporates several useful skills such as math, telling time and reading.  Have them practice increasing or decreasing the serving size of a recipe to practice multiplying and dividing fractions.  Encourage younger children to read the recipe out loud as you cook together.

Have your child read any and everything: the newspaper, internet articles, books, poetry, directions…just keep them reading.  Contact your local library for reading events.

TED talks are short, powerful speeches (18 minutes or less) from experts in various fields from entertainment to science to business and global issues. 


NOTE:  You may want to screen videos for age appropriate content before letting your child view them.  

Here’s a link to TEDYouth for children and teens.  

There's an app for just about anything you want.  Take a look at the Apple Store or The Google Play Store and you'll find plenty of options to keep your kids engaged.  Below are a few apps that will help them stay sharp while having fun.

Star Gazing
StarMap 3D Plus uses your iPhone's compass and gyroscope to find the planets, stars, constellations, star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae visible to you based on your location and time. 
Choose your wrestling character and then train and battle opponents of different weight classes in a vocabulary smackdown.
Presidents vs. Aliens
Defeat aliens with the Heads of State (literally) as you learn facts about American presidents.

-Calculate mileage to a destination.
-Add up the price of each item at the grocery store to avoid going over budget.
-Calculate tax and tip at a restaurant.

1)Harris Cooper et al., “The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores,” Review of Educational Research 66 (1996): 260.
2. Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap. K. Alexander, D. Entwisle and L. Olson, American Sociological Review, 2007 (72, 167-180).


 Click Here to register for our Summer Enrichment Program!

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