What is Summer Slide?
Summer Slide is when students lose reading and other academic skills throughout summer months when they are not in school and do not read or utilize math skills on a regular basis. Gains made throughout the school year decrease and students have to work in the fall to regain what they lost over the summer. Struggling readers and readers from households without access to reading material are especially at risk for Summer Slide.
What Can You Do to Prevent Summer Slide?
1. Use the Learning Farm Subscription
If your child is receiving Academic Support and is in first through fifth grade, he/she has a free subscription to Learning Farm which will be available all summer. (There are a few kindergarteners who will also receive a note to participate.) Take a few minutes to check out Learning Farm, which is web-based and can be used on a computer or tablet. Learning Farm has objectives that correlate to the State of Michigan’s academic goals. Children can watch mini-lessons and practice skills and play games in the areas of reading, math, science and social studies. Each student has his/her own log in name (student id#) and password to access the program. The academic material given will get easier or more challenging depending on the student’s correct or incorrect responses.
Students can use Learning Farm at home not only during the rest of the school year but also throughout the summer months. Here is the link to use to log on: https://www.learningfarm.com/ Your child needs to use their student ID# for their user name and their regular computer password. (If your child has difficulty remembering how to log in, send Mrs. Artman an email and the log-in information will be sent back to you.) One year subscriptions for additional children are available through Learning Farm for $50 for one year.
2. Reflex Math Continues to Be Available Throughout the Summer – Take Advantage of It
If your child received Math Support in grades 3-5, they can continue to access their Reflex Math account during the summer. It will be checked periodically to see students’ progress and move them up to higher levels if/when ready. Children who practice their math facts using Reflex Math and who practice other math skills using Learning Farm at least three days per week should maintain or improve their skills over the summer months. These resources are available to you for free so be sure to take advantage of them! (If you know that your child will NOT use Learning Farm at all this summer, please let Mrs. Artman know so that the subscription can be reassigned to a new student. firstname.lastname@example.org)
3. Read To and Read With Your Child Every Day
Set aside time for your child to read alone and to read with you. Yes, even if your child is in 4th or 5th grade. Yes, even if your child would rather play video games or play outside. There is a lot of time available for other family activities during the summer, so be sure to schedule at least 20 minutes of reading each day. Children who do not read, write or do math over the summer months usually return to school in September and are behind where they left in June. This has been shown through research and I have personally observed it happen with some students every year, as both as classroom teacher and reading specialist,. Students can self select books based upon interest and enjoyment. Adults usually don’t take textbooks and work-related books to the beach to read. They pick easier and enjoyable books, newspapers, magazines etc. Students can read books/magazines etc. they are interested in and motivated to read as long as they are reading! With younger children you can read to them, take turns sharing the reading on different pages or read a book that they listen to while you read. Variety makes it more fun and by reading to your child they are exposed to richer vocabulary and plots than they would be able to read independently.
4. If your child needs extra help, consider hiring a tutor. Here’s a list of tutors who are in the area:
5. Visit your local library.
Allen Park and most local libraries offer summer programs and activities. Sign up for a library card, visit the library with your child and take advantage of the free resources and programs.
6. Michigan Virtual Summer Learning
Home based virtual learning classes are offered on-line. Below is a link to an email I received that has more information. You can sign up for a parent account to view what courses are offered and whether the ones you are interested in are free or low cost.
7. Summer Bennie Book Exchange (Grades Young 5s to-Grade 4) and Learning Camp (Summer School) at Bennie – Grades K-2
More information will be coming about both of these activities. Children will receive some books before the end of the school year and will be able to visit Bennie throughout the summer if they want to exchange them for new ones to read. Mrs. Metzger will provide information on the days and times of this program in her blog and through Remind.
If your child is eligible for summer learning camp, (summer school) you are encouraged to sign him/her up. This is a wonderful free opportunity for them to get help in small groups and 1:1. The teachers and instructional aides working the program are experienced and will help keep your child from falling behind this summer. Funding is available for Bennie to offer Summer School to targeted Academic Support Program students in Kindergarten through Second grade who are most at risk of falling behind in reading during the summer months or who need to make the most gains. Invitations will be sent home if your child is eligible after spring benchmark assessment scores have been submitted by the classroom teachers (probably the last week of May or very beginning of June). The invitations will give the dates and times and other information.
Please sign up promptly to save a spot for your child! If you have any questions about the program, don’t hesitate to contact Mrs. Metzger or Mrs. Artman.
8. Look at the June/July/August Daily Activity Planners for activity ideas that will help your child learn each day.
Find the links to the Helping Children Learn newsletters and the Activity Planners in the menu at the top of this blog. Even if you don’t do the activities in the exact order suggested or every single activity, it’s worth taking a look and using the ones that you choose with your children.
9. Visit or Revisit the Parent Resources located in the menu at the top of this blog.
During the school year, you may have been too busy to utilize these resources with your child. But, if you’re looking for ways to keep your children busy and learning this summer, check out the links and resources listed on this blog.