Tips for avoiding a “summer slide” for your school-aged child

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 12:12 AM EDT
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(WBNG) - Summertime is all about soaking up the sun, hitting the pool, and going on vacation. With all that going on, parents and caregivers are advised to avoid a “summer slide” when it comes to a child’s education while off.

We are well into summer, but with that comes options for how to spend that time. “Summer is a great opportunity for students, when they’re home, to find different areas and different ways to keep on track with what they’re doing in the school year,” said Greater Southern Tier BOCES’ Robert Sherburne, the director of career and technical education & PTECH.

Sherburne said a summer with no educational opportunities or independent learning can cause setbacks come the next school year. “Yeah, I think it makes it a hard transition back to the classroom in September,” he said.

When it comes to staying on track, Sherburne said it can come in many forms, like through books. “... You can learn math, you can learn social studies. Everything is built into a book,” he said.

Lauren Peffer LCSWR, a clinical psych coordinator at the Clinical Associates of the Southern Tier, weighed in on summer learning. “I think one of the biggest problems that kids have over the summer, and parents of course as well, is figuring out where the balance is to help kids to retain some of what they had from the previous school year,” she said.

Sherburne echoed the need for balance and for a hands-on approach for some learners. “... There’s a lot of summer opportunities for students that might not be a summer school approach but it’s still learning and doing projects. Things they may not realize they’re learning when they’re doing it,” he said.

Peffer said not to overlook an informal approach during these summer days. “Try to do more informal types of education, such as watching maybe movies that have history behind them or science behind them,” she said.

When the next school year comes around, keep in mind teachers are aware of the learning challenge. “Teachers do, I think as a general rule, try to take the first part of school and do catch-up,” said Peffer.

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