Combating the Summer Slide

The summer is a great time for catching up on the things you missed during school. You can go camping and hiking and spend time with your friends or beat the video game that’s been sitting on your shelf for months. Some of our best memories are made during the summer months. However, the summer is also a great time to forget everything you learned in school. This is called the summer slide. 

Your teachers likely warned you about this on the last day of school. They hollered, “Don’t forget to keep reading and doing math so you don’t forget about them!” as you rushed out the door and towards freedom. These words probably rattled in your ears for a moment before falling to the floor and evaporating. But have no fear, combating the summer slide is as easy as playing a game or reading a fun book. 

Read, Read, Read

One of the more vital activities to do during the summer is reading. You can read chapter books, picture books, and even listen to audio books. The important thing is just to read. Reading helps build synapses in the brain that allow you to think critically, make accurate predictions, and understand the main ideas and theses of different books or articles. 

Reading is a skill that goes beyond simply learning to read words or understand vocabulary. It benefits your brain in many more ways than we know. If you find yourself forgetting the knowledge you worked so hard to build in school, start reading more books. Twenty minutes a day is all it takes!  

Attend Learning Camps

When I was a child, I attended a summer camp every year. Usually, they were sports camps, but I still got to learn a ton. Camp is where some kids make their most cherished memories. You can attend more academically rigorous camps like science camp, reading camp, or history camp. Or you can attend more active camps like adventure camp, outdoor camp, and boy/girl scouts. Either way, your brain is being active, is pumping knowledge into your long-term memory, and is retaining the information you learned in school. 

Play Learning Games

With advancements in technology and the accessibility of the internet, finding learning games has become easy. If you have access to a working computer, sign up for a fun, free learning game online. There are many resources that help channel learning into a fun and motivating game. If you like video games, there are games that allow you to complete learning tasks like missions. If you like colorful, playful games there are lots of options with fun stories and hands-on activities. All it takes is a quick Google search! 

Try New Things

This may not seem as obvious as the other three strategies, but trying new things and learning new hobbies is an excellent way to keep your brain working during the summer. When we try new things, we assimilate that information into our existing schema. This information is then stored and we can use it later in life with new hobbies. Hobbies help build skills like problem solving, tactile response, and muscle memory. All of which become helpful in classes like physics, chemistry, and even physical education. 

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