Summer vacation has arrived! As schools let out across the country, kids everywhere are looking forward to the upcoming months of freedom and fun. Unfortunately, this much deserved break can also come with a downside: the Summer Slide. The Summer Slide (aka summer learning loss) is a phenomenon where students lose a significant portion of the skills they learned over the summer. The Summer Slide has been repeatedly documented by students presenting with lower test scores following summer break. Summer learning loss can be a significant problem for all children, but the burden can be even more difficult for children with learning deficits. What can you do to make sure your child doesn’t get left behind over the summer and is ready to hit the ground running come September?
- Take a look at what’s to come: Giving your child a preview of what they’ll be learning in the fall can help them prepare and solidify any flagging skills that could potentially hold them back. Talk to your child’s teachers to find out what topics they’ll be beginning with in September. You don’t need to teach your child the material in advance, but letting them gain some experience with the topics and themes can help get them ready for learning. If possible, link the material to topics from the previous year to minimize loss of knowledge and skills.
- Make time for reading and writing: Making reading and writing a part of your child’s typical routine can go a long way towards maintaining language and literacy skills. Let your child pick out “fun” books that interest them, and talk about them together. Recapping a story helps your child develop summary skills and critical thinking and gives them a chance to incorporate new vocabulary. Don’t forget about writing! Encourage your child to write about vacations or special events over the summer either in a journal or as letters to keep in touch with friends or family.
- Don’t forget about therapy: If your child receives speech and language services during the school year, losing this support over the summer can worsen the effects of the summer slide. Find a therapist who your child can see over the summer to help them maintain their skills and hit the ground running in the fall. The speech-language pathologist can also coordinate with the school-based speech-language therapist to continue to target school-year goals.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give me a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.
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