Prevent the ‘summer slide’ of learning


It’s summer and the kids are on vacation. Does that mean they’re also taking a vacation from learning? How do you make sure their brains don’t go to mush before they go back to school?

That so-called summer slide “is a huge problem. And it's exacerbated for low-income and minority students," says Matthew Mugo Fields, a Morehouse University alumnus, who holds a double-masters in business and education from Harvard University. "The research I've seen says that nearly half of the achievement gap can be explained by the difference in summer learning between low-income students and their counterparts,” Fields told the National Newspaper Publishers Association in an article posted on The Skanner.

So what can parents do to keep their kids engaged in learning, even if they’re stretched financially?

• Make use of the library, and read to your kids every day. Or try a dollar store or used bookstore to pick up inexpensive books.

• Try singing and playing with younger students. Even everyday tasks can be lessons, such as adding up the groceries or counting change.

• Older kids could job shadow a parent or relative, or try volunteer work.

Read more on the summer slide here.

How are you keeping your children engaged this summer? Let us know in the comments.

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