Summer slide? Try these 3 things

 In W.O.D.

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Is the summer break bad for kids?  Is it true that if “you don’t use it, you lose it”?  What happens to kids’ learning over the long summer break?

Well, I looked it up and yeah, there’s a lot of research to show that the “summer slide” is quite real:  Kids show an obvious decline in their abilities when their testing is compared, apples to apples: tests in the new school year show lower scores than the same tests that were taken the previous spring.

According to npr.org, teachers have to spend from four to six weeks to get students caught up.  And according to theMetro Library’s article on summer reading, children average a loss of “approximately two months of their reading achievement if they do not read during the summer.”  That same figures goes for math, too.  As stated on the National Summer Learning Association’s website, “[m]ost students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.”  That’s more than 20% of the school year!!

Here are three great ideas for helping with the summer slide:

1.  Read!

Reading as much as possible is a great way to keep those little minds working and abilities sharp.  The Reading is Fundamental website says that “children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often slide backward.”  Try to read every day – and if he or she is old enough – mix it up so sometimes your child reads his or her favorite books, and sometimes you read your favorites (assuming they are kid friendly stories!)  Reading books that you like will show your little ones that reading is something to be enjoyed, help them gain new vocabulary, and learn the rhythmic flow of reading aloud.

2.  Eat healthy!

Summertime is full of opportunities to overeat, like parties and barbeques, and the hot weather might encourage more consumption of liquid calories like lemonade, soda, and juice…  According to the National Summer Learning Association, “Most children…gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break.”  Being healthy affects kids’ aptitude and attitude: if they go back to school feeling yucky and tired, they have a lesser chance of performing their best.

3.  Stay Fit!

Fitness is a factor in kids’ ability to perform, academically.  According to a study of more than 12,000 students reported on the nytimes.com website, “children who were in better aerobic condition significantly outperformed the less-fit group…”  “This finding suggests that “higher levels of fitness have their greatest impact in the most challenging situations” that children face intellectually…”  “The more difficult something is to learn, the more physical fitness may aid children in learning it.”  Sitting on a couch for 104 days is a sure way of losing fitness – so help them keep up by encouraging regular exercise.

Combatting the summer slide can be easy and fun! 

If you don’t have money to invest in books right now – no problem!  Hit up your local library.  Or, peruse the web with your son or daughter – as you know (because you’re reading this) – there are practically no limits to what you can find on the internet!  You can also find some amazing books and other reading resources at dollar stores and swap meets – just keep your eyes peeled!

To eat healthy, try buying a day or two worth of fruits and veggies and put them front-and-center in the refrigerator.  If they can be washed and cut ahead of time, take a few minutes after putting away groceries to prep them for consumption.  Don’t stuff them in the crisper!  Make them appealing and easy to eat.  Also, stop buying junk food on grocery trips.  Force yourself to have to go out and get treats when you really want them.  You’ll find yourself eating them less, and soon, wanting them less too!!

When it comes to staying fit – there are lots of great options!  Spend time with your family doing active things, as opposed to watching TV or playing on tablets, and before you know it, you and everyone who is participating will feel better and more fit.  Another great way to keep your kids active (and, if you like, get them out of your hair for a little bit!) is to send them to our TNT Kids Fitness program!  Specially designed for kids ages 6-11, our goal is to teach them fundamental exercises in a safe (and air-conditioned!) environment, and to help them increase their fitness!

Not only does the TNT Kids Fitness program target exercise, we also have a “STAR” program, where kids have the opportunity to earn stars and prizes by learning healthy eating habits, reading and researching diet and exercise, and- get this – by helping out around the house!  As the mother of a child in the TNT Star program, I can tell you from personal experience that the prospect of getting gold stars is very motivating to the kids – my son (who isn’t very enchanted with academics, by the way) actually asked me to help him pick out his next book so he can get stars – how awesome is that?!

Sign up your child for our TNT Kids Fitness today! Give us a call or stop by, we can’t wait to see you!

 

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