Kids Under Construction: What is the summer slide?

Kids Under Construction

(ABC4) – Summer vacation is just around the corner for most children, and this week, parenting journalist and educator Donna Tetreault joins ABC4 to talk about the ‘summer slide’.

According to Tetreault, with a nearly two-month dissociation from school, children are prone to slip down the “summer slide.” But what is the “summer slide”?

“The summer slide is that learning loss that happens during the summer months when our kids are out of school. And according to new study kids can lose up to 40% of the gains that they’ve made over the school year,” Tetreault explains.

However, according to Tetreault, the summer slide can be a bit more challenging for parents this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This school year has not been our regular school year. So we have to kind of rethink how we’re going to look at this summer slide and how we want to help our kids as they prepare for the new school year,” she shares.

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The parenting journalist and educator tells ABC4 that parents should do the following to help their children:

“What experts are saying now is we really should let this summer be for restoration. We shouldn’t overthink the summer and we really should prepare for social emotional learning.”

Tetreault recommends that parents should use the summer for investing in genuine companionship.

“We’ve had a lot of together time. But this is going to be a different together time for meeting those social-emotional needs. We need to spend it on genuine interest, what are our kids really interested in,” she adds.

Officials say when it comes to refocusing on how parents should handle the summer slide, families should invest in making educational activities more relevant to the child’s likes and interests. Tetreault gives an example:

“Predicting most kids are not generally interested in math. So find what they really want to do. Find something that can work that brain in a different way, not just the math brain. Also think about camps that are outdoor and how they can connect with friends and extended family. Those are social-emotional things that we can do that are going to help our kids grow and learn.”

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