“Summer Slide” is a term used by educators to describe the very real phenomenon of students losing academic ground over the summer as they use their brains less vigorously. For students who plan to take the SAT or ACT in the fall, or who want to start off strong in their classes, this can put them at a disadvantage.
Here’s an easy remedy: Read! Encourage your child to read as much as they can – some have assigned reading from school, but it can also be a pleasure novel, magazines, etc.
In addition, some students may benefit from starting up with math or writing tutoring later in the summer, to review what they learned last spring and preview what is coming in the fall.
For those motivated to work on their own, here are a few ideas/resources:
Khan Academy: You may know that Khan Academy now offers free SAT prep. It also is a great place for students to work on various topics in math, science, computing, humanities, art and economics.
Free Rice: Free Rice is a great site that covers a similar range of subjects – math, vocabulary and grammar, sciences, humanities, geography and foreign languages. It is fun to use and correct answers donate grains of rice to third world countries!
Explore Interests: Summer is a great time to have your child try something new and discover what they are good at, what they like and what they don’t like. Whether it is a part-time job, volunteering or a home-based project, everyone should be doing something in the summer that will help them learn more about themselves as well as build responsibility, independence and self-confidence. Your child may need your encouragement to add something to their day if they have not yet found something to dive into on their own.
Job shadow: This is a great time to have discussions about what your child finds interesting and then seek out an opportunity for them to do some shadowing to learn about a particular field. Try asking friends and neighbors if your child can spend a few hours at their workplace.
For rising seniors: There is college prep work to be done!
- Complete a list of colleges to apply to in the fall / winter
- Schedule additional college visits as needed
- Prep for and schedule interviews as appropriate
- Decide if additional testing is needed; if so, schedule fall tests and continue test prep
- July – Complete the personal statement for the Common Application
- August – Fill out the Common Application and upload the personal statement
- August – look for any supplemental essays that your colleges have posted
Believe me, you and your child will be very happy in the fall to have completed this work in the summer!