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3 Ways to Stop the Summer Slide

Do you know about the “Summer Slide”? It’s the phenomenon of students losing some of their newly acquired knowledge and skills over summer break. And elementary students are most at risk for experiencing this!

So what can we do to help?

3 Ways to Stop the Summer Slide

Luckily, there are a lot of simple things you can do to help students avoid that Summer Slide.

  1. READ! This is the easiest and most important thing you can do to support kids during the summer. If you’re a parent, offer lots of reading material options for them. Encourage and allow them to read whatever they want! If you’re a teacher, offer printable passages or printable books and recommend websites (like Epic! Get one month free at this link.!) if they have access to technology.
  2. Review! You don’t need to worry about introducing new concepts over the summer. But definitely do lots of review! Daily “spiral” review is one of the most effective ways to help students move their learning from short-term to long-term memory. Every time kids retrieve information from their memories it becomes easier to recall that information in the future. And the best part? Review is so easy to implement! Just a few minutes a day spent reviewing will pay off big.
  3. Play! There are so many fun ways to practice educational concepts and review skills while playing. Math card games, sight word games, phonics games, and critical thinking games are great ideas. But also let them have lots of free play! Free play lets them use their imagination, problem solve, strengthen motor skills, and have sensory experiences. As Mr. Rogers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.

What We’re Doing to Stop the Summer Slide at Home

I thought it might be helpful to share what I’m doing with my 3 kids at home. For reference, we spend about 20 minutes a day doing school activities (not including reading time which happens throughout the day). Some days it doesn’t happen but because we keep the time frame short, we can fit it in easily most days.

For my Kindergartener Grad:

  • Segmenting & Blending Fluency practice – Now that my daughter has mastered letter names and sounds, she needs lots of practice sounding out words. She loves that this practice is fun and it’s easy to keep up with because it’s so short!
  • 1st Grade Morning Work – She’s totally ready to start working on 1st grade material so we’re starting with the morning work!
  • Todo Math – I LOVE this app. It’s tailored to what the player actually knows and doesn’t move them forward in concepts until they’ve demonstrated mastery. Every day there’s a learning path of activities to complete and it takes less than 10 minutes to do. Plus it’s fun!
  • Savvy Reading–  We love this daily online reading class! She hops online for about 25 minutes every day with a few other students and a teacher to work through phonics and reading activities. It’s so engaging, and it’s a relief to me to have such consistent practice happening every day without any help from me! Save $25 per month with code EMILY at checkout!
  • READING! – We will be doing lots of reading together. She’s starting to get interested in some early series like Rainbow Fairies. My kids also love to read books on Epic! Get one month free at this link.

For my 2nd Grade grad:

  • 3rd Grade Fluency Homework – Because I want this time to be helping him build fluent reading skills, I pick a level of passages that he can read with at least 95% accuracy. If he has to focus more energy than that on reading accurately, he can’t appropriately focus on the other fluent reading skills we’re trying to build.
  • 2nd Grade Summer Review– I’m sure you’re not surprised to see this on the list since we’re so passionate about spiral review! A few minutes a day packs a big punch.
  • Savvy Reading–  My son will also be doing Savvy Reading! The cool thing about Savvy is that they have so many levels! And they put your reader right where they need to be, even if they’re above or below grade level. Save $25 per month with code EMILY at checkout!
  • Place Value Practice – My son loves math and has been watching me work on these pages in recent months and begging to do them himself! So I told him I would print him a book of all these place value pages and he’s so excited.
  • Reflex Math – This is a great app for practicing fact fluency. We don’t do this every day but often. He also frequently plays Todo Math but has almost maxed out on the levels they offer.
  • Phonics Games – We alternate between a game that’s introducing a new phonics game for him and playing games that cover concepts he’s already familiar with.
  • READING! – He loves to find a series with several books and read them all. Recently he has read all of The Bad Guys, Investigators, and Dogman. My kids also love to read books on Epic! Get one month free at this link.

For my 6th grade grad:

  • Brain Quest Summer Review – She really likes these brain quest workbooks so if we have time she likes to spend time on this too.
  • Reflex Math – This is her favorite app for practicing fact fluency. She could still use some improvement in this area. I’m also on the lookout for another math app that would be good for her now that she’s getting older.
  • Adventure Academy – This is her favorite educational app so she usually chooses to spend her app time playing this game.
  • READING! – She’s super into Keeper of the Lost Cities right now. My kids also love to read books on Epic! Get one month free at this link.

Summer Review Bundles

If you like what I’m doing at home with my kids, then the summer review bundles will help you get started with a similar routine!

Teachers – If you’re looking for resources to send home for your students over the summer, we’ve got you covered! There are 10 weeks of spiral review pages, phonics games, reading passages, and more.

Parents – We’ll help you stop that summer slide! This bundle of resources is full of fun and meaningful activities for your students preparing for a new grade.


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After a combined 14 years in 2nd grade, sisters Heidi & Emily are passionate about helping simplify life for other teachers!

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