When writing the article, I interviewed Sue Kick, an elementary school principal in Wilmette, IL. What she said about ways parents can prevent the summer slide surprised me. I expected her to stress the importance of reading, but instead she said that most parents have a good handle on that and need to do a bit more in the realm of science and math when school is not in session.
Even more surprising were her other two recommendations:
1) make sure kids have unstructured playtime; and
2) stop overscheduling children.
She explained that the skills kids learn when playing on their own, including teamwork, negotiation, and creativity, are every bit as valuable as those in a book, and summer is the perfect time to develop and hone them. Those are skills that cannot be found in a summer workbook.
Yes, letting your children play outside, without you, is a way of fighting the summer slide.
Read more about what a veteran teacher of ten years suggests, including a list of recommended apps that are great for summer learning, and how other families are approaching the summer slide here.
I’d love to hear what your thought are on summer brain drain and the summer slide.
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