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The summer break is essential for children to have fun, enjoy exciting experiences, find new passions and hobbies, and spend time with their family and friends (and make new ones!). It’s also a time when students tend to lose some of the skills and knowledge they gained in the previous school year.  

This is called the “summer slide,” and it affects students of all ages, most commonly in reading and math. It’s estimated that elementary students lose about 20-30% of their school-year gains in reading and 25-35% in math over the summer, with the numbers even higher for middle school students. This can lead to achievement gaps, with many students falling behind and having trouble keeping up when they enter their next grade level. 

The good news is that there are ways that you can help keep your child’s school skills sharp over the break and prevent the effects of the “summer slide.” Here are some practical ways to achieve this:


  • Daily Reading Time: Even just 20 minutes of reading daily can benefit children. This practice will expose your child to over 1.8 million words over a year and has been proven to increase their performance in standardized tests significantly. It also promotes a lifelong love of reading.
  • Audiobooks: Audiobooks are a great way for kids to learn or enjoy a book while driving or hiking. Here is a list of some great audiobooks for family road trips!
  • Reading Goals: Setting goals can help keep children motivated to read over the summer. Allowing them to choose the books they want to read and celebrating (and rewarding) their success with each goal they reach can be a fun way to increase their reading confidence and keep them busy with books.


  • Summer Journal: Encourage your children to write daily entries about their summer adventures. This will promote creativity and improve their writing skills over the break. 
  • Story Writing:  Creative writing helps children to learn how to express their thoughts while boosting their imagination. Practising this over the summer will allow them to hone their writing skills and make it easier for your child to get into the swing of things when school begins again.


  • Math Apps: We all know children love using their phones or tablets.  Encouraging them to use interactive math apps like Mathletics or Prodigy can be a fun way to keep them practising their math skills over the break during their screen time. Here is a list of some fun math apps for children.
  • Cooking: Allowing your child to help with measuring and fractions while cooking is a fun way to work some math into everyday life. It also helps them form a healthy relationship with food, provides a foundation for them to be independent and confident in cooking for themselves in the future, and can be a good bonding experience for the whole family. 

Science & Nature Activities

  • Home Experiments: Children love a good science experiment, and there are many that you can do at home with regular household items. Here is a list of fun and educational experiments that the whole family will enjoy. 
  • Gardening: Allow your child to plant a small garden. This will allow them to learn about plant biology while also teaching them responsibility, patience, and perseverance. Gardening is a great way to spend quality time together outside, and it’s proven to improve mood and reduce stress.

Educational Games/Apps

  • Board Games: Fun and educational games like Scrabble, Monopoly, or Boggle can be a great way for your child to practice math, reading, and social skills. They are also proven to improve cognitive function and are an enjoyable way to spend time together. Here is a list of some old and new board games that are fun for the whole family. 
  • STEM Kits: STEM toys are becoming increasingly popular. Getting your child interested in these subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) at a young age can help prepare them for forward-thinking careers and opportunities. Developing their STEM skills will allow them to better grasp the world around them and spark interest in exciting topics such as robotics and programming. Here is a list of STEM toys for children to help keep their skills sharp over the summer. 
  • Interactive Apps: There are some great educational apps out there that can help keep your child’s skills sharp over the summer. Whether it’s working on spelling, handwriting, math, geography, music, or even learning a new language, these apps can be a beneficial (and fun) tool to keep your child learning and engaged. Here is a list of some great educational apps.

Family Projects

  • Collaborative Art: Working on art projects together can be a great bonding experience. Whether sitting down to paint together or making funny videos, being creative and using your imagination helps to instill confidence and help develop their love of arts. Here is a list of creative projects you can do as a family. 
  • Research Topics: Encourage your child to research different topics over the summer and write or present a report about them. It could be about animals, space, history, or their favourite singer; the possibilities are endless! This can motivate them to learn while also developing new interests and passions.
  • Routine: Keeping a daily schedule of plans for academics, physical activity, and leisure activities can help keep your child in a healthy routine. This will ensure that going back to the more structured routine of the school year isn’t a shock to the system. It will also keep their time management and organizational skills sharp over the break.

We hope these tips help your child to have a fun and productive summer!


The Scholars Team


July 9, 2024