Tips on Avoiding the “Summer Slide”

By: Sarah Meikle/

Most of you have heard the term, “Summer Slide”, but, you may be wondering how to avoid it in your family.

Summer slide is when a student loses some of the academic achievement gains that were made during the previous school year. This could be in reading skills or any other academic area. This is why it’s so important to continue reading everyday to your child or have them read to you, as well as, working on simple math activities.

Don’t worry you can still have a fun summer! It’s not to late to start, here are some tips on how you can avoid the summer slide and still have a great time!

  • Read, Read, Read! Think outside of the box!  Grab some books, a blanket, some snacks and head to the park for a  reading picnic. Not only are you reading but you’re enjoying nature and family time, too!


  • Snack time and math time! So simple and so efficient. Simply count out how many gold fish or snack of your choice you want your child to have.  Ask him/her, “how many gold fish do you have?” Now have him/her eat two and ask, “how many are left?”  Make sure to write or have them write it on a piece of paper so they can visually see the equation.

  • Come out to one of our “Pages and Play” events. Cary Zavala uses a variety of fun strategies, books, music, activities, and games, to provide hands-on activities which embed social emotional skill building into an everyday routine.


  • Head to your local library. Many of our local libraries offer scheduled story times which offers a great opportunity to socialize with other families while listening to wonderful stories.


  • Have a deck of cards? Make math fun with a number matching game! Simply lay out the cards one through ten and lay the rest of the cards in a pile face down. Have your child pick a card from the pile and match the number on the card to the appropriate  match. This works great with Skip-O Cards. For the older ones, have them choose two cards and add or subtract the numbers. Each one they get right is a point!


  • Create a “Word of the Day” calendar. Each day teach your child a NEW word, the definition and how to spell it. Now try to use the new word in conversation throughout the rest of the day.


  • Let’s get cooking! Cooking can be fun and educational. Have your child help measure and follow directions.  Basic, fundamental math and reading skills.


  • Read aloud everything and everywhere. Words are all around us on cereal boxes, street signs, grocery stores, everywhere!  So take those opportunities to read aloud to your child and soon they will be reading aloud to you.


  • Take a walk or drive. Talk about what you see. Look at that farm house with the dairy cows!  What kind of bug is crawling on that oak tree?  Look at how tall the corn is in that field; how and why?


  • Work on those scissor skills. Practicing those scissor skills is a great fine motor activity and a perfect kindergarten readiness skill. My daughter loves to take a container, a piece of paper,  kid scissors and cut away! This is a simple way to practice but, you could add to it by having them cut out shapes and wavy lines. Don’t just stop with paper, you could use just about anything including food, straws, sponges and so on!

Learning and teaching your children doesn’t have to be boring, as a matter of fact, it can be a ton of fun and a great bonding experience. We are our children’s first and most important teacher and that never stops. So keep having fun this summer while avoiding the “summer slide”,  as well!


Sarah Meikle has been a Parent Liaison for Lenawee Great Start since 2015. She was raised in Adrian where she attended Madison Schools. She now resides in Tecumseh with her husband Andrew and their two young children, Camden and Kaylee.


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