Summer Break or Summer Slide?

Summer brings up such fond memories, but the transition can throw a lot of kids (and their parents!) for a loop. The abrupt switch from the hectic school year to summer break feels like cannonballing into a pool for the first time, and the quick change can cause issues.

So, before your child jumps, take a few steps to help them ease into their break and avoid what educators call the summer slide---the learning loss that many kids experience while out of school. After all, during summer vacation some kids lose over two months of learning. Avoiding the summer slide starts with an awesome plan. 

Tips for Prepping kids for the Summer 

1. Consider Learning Tools

Technology can support education, making learning loss non-existent or better---adding to their world of knowledge! Pinwheel lets parents schedule specific learning apps, like Khan Academy and Prodigy Math, to appear on their kids' phones at certain times.

2. Consider Your Kids' Routine 

Change is tricky, but kids can ease into a new routine by feeling ready. This includes helping your child understand what to expect at camp or a typical day around the house. Pinwheel offers "Routines" that appear as checklists for your child, nudging them to take the steps you've laid out.

3. Start a Countdown

Countdowns and visuals are like PB&J. Kids might enjoy crafting a paper chain and removing one link each morning. As the chain shrinks, they can mentally prepare for their first day of summer break. 

4. Let Them Plan

Engage your child in their summer plans by brainstorming museum trips and vacations. Are they interested in going to an amusement park? Help them understand concepts like how a roller coaster works, using terms like speed, velocity, and acceleration.  Are you thinking about summer camps? Ask your child what themes sound intriguing to them and ask them to mark the dates on the family calendar. Are you planning a road trip? Ask them to research the route and interesting facts along the way.

Final Advice

Don't stress about learning loss when your child says they're bored, or spends literal hours doing "nothing". As long as you limit your child from whiling away their summer on mindless endeavors, like video games and TV shows, they'll learn a great deal. Kids are learning all the time, even when there's no textbook in sight.