OUR VIEW: Do your part to help students avoid summer slide

Published 10:30 am Thursday, July 6, 2023

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In under a month, students in Troup County will return to class. Yes, under a month! The sound you hear is teachers freaking out as they see the dwindling days remaining on their summer calendar. (You might also hear some parents rejoicing, ready for the norm of a back-to-school schedule.)

We’ve got kids, so trust us, we’re not reinforcing bedtimes just yet. And we’re telling ourselves that there are still weeks left to enjoy those long summer nights. Don’t change your summer schedules just yet. 

But please help your students, especially the little ones, get ready for school by reading to them regularly. This is good practice year-round, but it’s easy to ease up in June after months and months of school, homework and long days for everyone.

However, now everyone has had a break. 

In the summer, there’s plenty of data on the “summer slide” where students forget what they’ve learned during the school year and return to school behind where they left in the spring.  According to Scholastic, kids in grades 3-5 lose about 20% of their school year gains in reading and 27% of their gains in math during the summer. That’s scary. 

One of the easiest ways to avoid the “slide” is to read to your students, or, if they’re older, to ensure they spend a few minutes reading each day. Don’t let them spend the last few weeks sitting on a bean bag chair playing video games. 

If your child is of elementary school age, reinforce ABCs, counting, colors and other basic, fundamental education material that serve as the building blocks of future learning. It’s easy to incorporate these types of discussions into games, instead of making it feel like homework.

No one wants their child to go back to school behind. 

And as much as our children don’t want to hear it, school isn’t that far away.

Take some easy steps now to ensure they’re in good shape when they re-enter the classroom in August.