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Keeping up with reading and writing skills over the summer is key to maintaining learning throughout the year. While summer is a wonderful break from the routine of school, the long break can rightly cause parents to fear the summer slide. Research from the National Summer Learning Association indicates students score lower on standardized tests when they take the exams at the end of the summer months rather than at the start of the summer. Kids lose an average of two months of math skills and 25 percent of reading skills during this period. Educators report that it can take 4-6 weeks re-teaching material to kids in the fall.

To combat this challenge, parents need to strike a balance between education, relaxation and fun.

Some simple and fun activities may include:

  1. Enroll in a summer reading program at your local library. The programs offer incentives and rewards for meeting goals.
  2. Buy some “brain game” books (like crosswords, word searches and other brain teasers).
  3. Create a book club: Make reading social with a summer book club for kids.
  4. Keep a journal: Encourage kids to stay sharp in their writing by keeping a journal, discussing summer memories and more. This also provides a great memory in the years to come!
  5. Start a blog: Create a blog for your child to update friends and family over the summer.
  6. Read some comic books: Renew their interest with reading about the Avengers or Peanuts gang.
  7. Read anything, and read throughout the day. Newspapers, magazines, signs, menus, etc.
  8. When the weather is too hot, do a puzzle. This really sharpens the problem solving part of the brain.
  9. Involve math daily. How much change will you get you buy an ice cream cone? If this recipe makes 24, how much do I need to add to make 36?

Keeping activities fun can help kids from falling behind and give them an advantage when they return to school in the fall.

Some argue that school year-round may be the best solution. What do you think? Let us know on our Facebook page. We look forward to reading your opinion.