5 Ways Parents Can Prevent the Summer Slide

There is no secret that after a long school year that students are excited that is finally summer and that means for them no more books, homework, and lectures from their teachers. Of course students do deserve a break after spending the school year doing homework, taking test, and taking assessment after assessment; however, it is not a good idea to have them not learning for 9+ weeks.  Did you know that students can lose up to three months of academic progress over the summer? This means that if school starts in August, then it is not until October when students get back the academic progress that they ended the previous year with. So before we get too deep into the summer and the kids get lost in staying up all night playing video games check out this article and see the five ways to help your students prevent the infamous and dangerous Summer Slide. 

1. Sign your child up for a summer reading program at your local library. The Indianapolis Library has a summer reading program called Read It & Eat. The program allows students to read books and earn points that go towards prizes. 

2. In addition to taking your student to a beach or on a cruise visit a museum. While at the museum encourage your student to read the displays. Often the display represents some significant historical fact. After they leave the museum, help them to research the exhibit further.

3. Enroll your student in a quality summer program. Often the summer is time for the AAU basketball tournaments and football skills camps. Look into a summer camp that will provide your student with opportunities to have fun, but more importantly build on their critical thinking skills through enrichment. 

4. Encourage your student to sharpen their math skills. There are free math programs online that they can access. Also, reach out to your student’s school to find out what math skills they can work on during the summer to make sure they are ready for the next school year's math curriculum. 

5. Did I mention READ?! If your student does nothing else this summer make sure he/she is reading and reading and doing more reading!

It will be a very unpopular decision in the eyes of your student to make sure they are academically engaged during the summer but remember you are the PARENT. They do not know quite yet what is best for them. Reading and Math skills must be practiced. Just like that jump shot, swimming technique, pitch, and route, they do not mind practicing. It is critical that they are practicing their Reading and Math skills. As an educator, I cannot express how important it is for you to keep your student academically engaged during the summer. Please do not allow your student to fall victim to the SUMMER SLIDE.


David McGuire

Mr. McGuire is a middle school teacher in Indianapolis, Teach Plus Policy Fellow, and currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Indiana State University for Educational Leadership. Driven by the lack of having an African American male teacher in his classrooms growing up, David helped launched the Educate ME Foundation, which is geared towards increasing the number of African American male teachers in the classroom. A born and raised Hoosier, he is dedicated to improving educational outcomes for all students in Indianapolis. He describes his educational beliefs as a reformer grounded in the best practices of traditional public schools, where he was mentored by strong leaders. David graduated from Central State University with a degree in English and also holds an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.