How to prevent summer slide of your child

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    Small breaks may be good for studying process, but summer holidays may cause big learning problems. This phenomenon is named summer slide and leads to learning loss.

    If you want to prevent summer slide, check out this article. You will see all the factors and methods that will help kids come back to school with no gaps in learning.

    What is a summer slide?

    Summer slide is a break from studying that lasts for several weeks and may result in knowledge gaps and problems catching up with studying right after. The alternative summer slide definitions are a summer brain drain or summer learning loss.

    Most frequently, the phenomenon of the summer slide occurs in elementary school. When children come back there, their academic progress declines. They need extra time to catch the learning pace and get back on track.

    Summer slide in education signs 

    Here is a list of the most common problems observed in a classroom after the summer break:

    • Problems gaining new skills
    • Difficulties practicing existing skills 
    • Resistance to absorbing new knowledge
    • Difficulties memorizing existing knowledge

    In practice, children may forget how to multiply numbers, capitalize letters, or start making grammar mistakes they never made before. If you see some of these signs on a regular basis in early autumn, most likely, you didn’t manage to avoid summer slide knowledge loss.

    Should you worry about the summer slide?

    If you were unaware of the summer slide, you may feel nervous about it now. There is no need to worry: you cannot avoid summer slide because it happens naturally. It’s important to take a break from school; however, you can minimize its effect in the long run.

    As a parent, it’s worth learning how to avoid summer slide to help your child hit the right tune. Enrolling your child in extracurricular activities to restore old knowledge in autumn is reactive. Be proactive instead; encourage them to learn new things in summer – from introducing outdoor activities to hiring a summer tutor for a specific subject.

    This way, kids can make great achievements soon instead of struggling to catch up on things they’ve already learned every September.

    Math summer slide: How to stop it?

    Among others, the math summer slide is one of the hardest to catch up. Brighterly can help children with catching up in math by providing interactive 1:1 sessions with professional tutors.

    Our students are mostly 7-14 years old, and they enjoy an interactive study format. You can try a first lesson for free to get your child’s math knowledge gaps and studying preferences. Later on, you can change the teacher or stop studying when autumn starts.

    10 ways to prevent summer slide

    Here are top 10 activities to prevent summer slide to help your children save gained knowledge and skills. 

    Summer reading program

    Among summer slide prevention activities, the summer reading program is one of the most common ways to work with potential learning loss. By providing children with recommended books to read during summer break, you give them tools to enlarge their vocabulary and practice grammar skills.

    The exact number of books should depend on the grade and reading level and be provided by a school or a public library. In this process, the role of parents is to encourage and control the reading progress. Having a reading club with rewards and special events will also be helpful.

    Introduce learning in everyday summer activity

    Working to prevent the summer slide can be fun if it happens in the background of everyday summer activities. In this case, a lot depends on a parent’s creativity and lust for life.

    Try to find new angles to explore your routine activities: 

    • Experiment with your breakfast recipe to see the impact of each ingredient on the cooked dish
    • Encourage them to measure all the furniture in their room before buying something new
    • Read the menus and multiply numbers together while waiting for a waiter or in a queue
    • Try to name all the sounds and smells around you in a random place

    The exact activities will depend on your child’s age and grade, but one thing remains the same – and it’s your curiosity and willingness to find new information together.

    Bring your child to a summer camp

    Summer camp is the most effective method to prevent the summer slide because it’s filled with fun learning opportunities that don’t feel like school studying.

    Unlike other methods, summer camps require minimal effort from parents. Usually, they are dedicated to one subject and help children practice academic skills through hand-on experiences, teamwork activities, and outdoor experiments.

    Check out Brighterly summer math camp as a great learning opportunity to prevent math learning loss for kids between 7 and 14 years old. This online program is an even more convenient summer camp version, with all its benefits but no need to take your child out of the home.

    Find attractions that teach something new

    Introduce a learning element to summer entertainment whenever possible to prevent summer slide. You can encourage them to install a new language app, play an educational video game, or spend a whole day in a museum together. 

    Here is the list of educational attractions to visit this summer:

    • Local science or natural history museum
    • Science center
    • Zoo
    • Botanical garden
    • Historical site
    • Virtual tours

    It’s easier to find educational attractions you can enjoy together on a trip, so plan your summer vacation to rest yet not miss potential learning opportunities.

    Encourage their creative spirit in summer

    Slide in summer is not critical if your child uses their free time to start a new hobby, learn a new skill, or reveal their creativity in any other way.

    If you notice your child eager to engage in activities, avoid insisting on rest; instead, provide them with all the resources they need to practice.

    Set inspiring goals 

    If you don’t want your child to suffer from summer slide, avoiding it can be an inspiring goal by itself. But for your child, the same goal may not sound inspiring. In this case, the aim is to set an individual summer learning plan that will include their current level, interests, and problems.

    The most common tools for the individual inspiring plan:

    • Reading challenge with their dream reward as a prize
    • Basic exercises as part of their routine (as real-world activities or studying)
    • An educational activity once a week

    If your school hasn’t provided your child with the summer slide prevention plan, create your own, including their dreams and your capabilities.

    Let nature be their teacher

    In a city jungle setting, outdoor activities will help to prevent the summer slide for your family. Nature offers never-ending opportunities to observe and experiment with, so don’t underestimate its teaching potential in your summer learning loss prevention plan.

    Here are some of the things to try outdoors:

    • Long walks or hiking
    • Camping
    • Reading in a park
    • Finding real-world questions to research and ask educators about
    • Visiting a summer camp

    Nature is a catalyst for curiosity, so let children go outside and find their own methods to use as their teacher.

    Encourage writing routine

    Journaling is an essential skill that helps both children and adults express thoughts, desires, and ambitions. Write in your summer journals to reflect on summer adventures, make plans, and dream big together.

    If writing daily is hard, try alternative methods like morning pages, filling in writing prompts, and creating cards. All of them are fun enough to make writing easy and enjoyable in summer. 

    Make math your summer routine 

    Math is easier to forget, that’s why it’s important to practice it during the summer. There are many activities that provide opportunities to practice math:

    • Cooking and baking
    • Budgeting
    • Board games
    • Flashcards
    • Planning trips
    • Comparing prices

    All these activities help to prevent the summer slide but require efforts from parents. If that’s problematic for you, you can also hire a math tutor from Brighterly.

    Our interactive classes will help your child catch up with math before they come back to school.

    Utilize online tools

    Video games, virtual tours, and online programs are excellent ways to prevent summer brain drain. If you utilize online tools for learning in a proper way, you can get easy-to-use exercises to practice reading, writing, and math skills.

    At the same time, parental control is the key when dealing with online, as it can become too addictive and destructive to the learning process.


    Whether it’s summer slide math, science or grammar, it’s worth putting effort into preventing it. It’s great to take a break during summer; however, using this free time to try some new learning opportunities is a more effective way to spend summer vacation.

    Life is the best teacher, and you can see that it’s true in your everyday activities, while taking summer trips, or mastering new skills or revealing your creativity. All you need is curiosity and some courage to try!

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