How to beat the summer slide

Whether you call it the summer slide or summer brain drain, many parents worry that summertime is a prime time for kids to forget what they’ve learned during the school year. But how do you balance the bliss of summer vacation with brain-boosting activities? The good news is that there are plenty of fun ways to help your child keep up their learning over the break!

First, some notes on the summer slide

What kind of effect does summer slide actually have? Well, that’s actually up for debate. Here are a few noteworthy stats from The Brookings Institute and Education Next

    • One study using data of students in grades 2-9 from a southern state found that the average student loses 25–30 percent of their school-year learning over the summer.
    • Studies show that older students decline more over the summer than younger ones.
    • Nearly all students learn much more slowly during summer vacations than they do during the school year. That means that the summer months offer students who are behind a chance to catch up.

The biggest takeaway is this: if you’re worried about summer slide, or want to help your child narrow learning gaps from the school year, these months are a great opportunity to for learning!

Fun ways to beat summer slide:

Take advantage of your local library

Your local library is an amazing resource for summer learning—from organized kids groups to the all-knowing knowledge of librarians. Ask about summer programs that incentivize reading and encourage your child to check out books about topics that excite them.

Embrace hands-on activities

Sometimes school activities are limited by time, space, and the potential for messiness. Cue summertime, and the freedom of going all-in with hands-on projects. We’re talking summer science experiments, artistic math projects, and other outdoor activities.

Mix up your learning materials

While books and computers are classic ways to learn, you can spice things up by adding more variety to your summer learning. Your child can “read” by listening to an audiobook, work on math skills by playing chess and card games, or use actual maps to gain geographic knowledge and plan real or imaginary trips.

Integrate math into daily activities

Summertime is a great time to establish habits that build a love for math. Take advantage of everyday summer math like grocery shopping, baseball stats, cooking, and lemonade sales. These opportunities are a natural way to fit in math practice, without making it feel like a chore.

Dive into IXL!

During summer and beyond, IXL is here to help! Our skills make screentime valuable and help you hone in on the topics that will help your child grow. Not sure where to start? Check out your child’s Recommendations wall for skills that are picked just for them. Use our free summer resources to inspire new kinds of learning. Or, sign your child up for our summer contest!