Blog home

What is the Summer Slide?

What is the Summer Slide?

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - April 11th, 2015

Around this time every year, parents begin worrying about the dreaded “summer slide.” This term defines the phenomenon whereby kids lose ground over the summer due to the fact that they aren’t going to school every day and bringing work home with them.

Many parents scoff at the notion that the summer slide is something to take seriously, but research shows it’s a real threat to kids’ forward momentum. Research shows that children who don’t take part in some kind of educational brain-building over the summer backslide by, on average, 2 months in reading and 2.6 month in math. 

The good news is that this summer slide can be prevented. But it takes commitment and planning on parents’ part. Specifically, you need to structure a plan by which your child will be exposed to some academic material on a regular basis over the summer. This sounds fairly easy, but there are two main dangers.

First of all, summers may seem lazy and slow-paced but the reality is that most kids have plenty going on when they aren’t in school. Sleepaway camp, sports, music, and any number of other things take up big chunks of time over the summer and sometimes mean that you barely see your kid for long stretches of time. This makes it difficult to do the work necessary to prevent the summer slide on a daily basis (and in some cases, like if your child is at sleepaway camp, it’s impossible).

The other difficulty is that you have to go out and find your own materials to use. During the year, your child’s teacher sends home schoolwork and other activities for them to make sure they’re keeping up in school. But over the summer, the onus is on you to find materials that will counteract the summer slide. 

Programs like Study Island and Mathletics, all of which are available here at Testing Mom, are a great start. Also be sure to engage in fun activities that also happen to be educational – math games like 24 will keep your child entertained for hours on end, while also helping to prevent the summer slide!

Be sure to plan around camp, soccer, and any other extracurricular activities that will come up over the break.

Share this article

Tell us about your experiences

Need help? - Contact Support