Summer is a time for kids to have fun and take break from the stress of the school year. Unfortunately, this break can sometimes have significant consequences on a child’s academic progress. Summer learning loss, also known as the Summer Slide, is a common phenomenon where children experience a loss in the academic skills and knowledge that they acquired over the school year. The National Summer Learning Association’s website states that, “research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.”
Although summer learning loss can be detrimental to any child, it can have a particularly devastating impact on a child who already has difficulty with language, literacy, or general communication. What can you do to make sure your child doesn’t fall behind? Take a look at these tips to prevent summer learning loss:
Read, Read, Read! Making literacy a part of your child’s typical routine is crucial to maintaining language and literacy skills. Incorporate regular trips to the library into your schedule. Let your child choose a book that interests them, then read it together. Follow up with discussions on the themes of the book, or how the characters solved their problems. Make a list of new vocabulary words that your child may not know. Have them try to guess the meaning from the context of the sentence. Then challenge them to use these new words in a sentence during the day.
Find Opportunities to Write. Writing skills are critical to academic performance. Give your child opportunities to hone their writing skills over the summer by encouraging them to keep a journal or diary where they write about vacations or special events over the summer. Writing letters is another great opportunity to practice writing. Have your child keep in touch with friends or family members who live far away with old-fashioned letters, or enroll them in a pen-pal program, where they can exchange letters with children in other parts of the world.
Get Outside Help. If your child receives speech and language services during the school year, losing this support over the summer can further impact summer learning loss. Enrolling your child in speech-language therapy with an outside provider over the summer can help them to retain their skills and hit the ground running in the fall. The speech-language pathologist can organize sessions based on the curriculum the child will face in the fall, and can coordinate with their school-based speech-language therapist to continue to target their school-year goals.
What are some ways that you help your child learn over the summer? Share your tips in the comments section below!
For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!
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