Stopping the Summer Slump

Children all across the state are shouting, “Yea, it’s summer!” Parents and educators might not be quite as enthusiastic. Not that children don’t deserve some time for unstructured play and to spend time with family and friends, but we want to prevent summer learning loss.

The National Summer Learning Association quotes research spanning 100 years that shows students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer. Additional research shows that most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement.

But much can be done to combat this brain drain.

One of the best things parents can do with their child any time of the year is read to them and with them. Take a trip to the library or the book store now to stock up on fantastic reads for the summer.

Play math games with your children. Let your children turn your back porch into a science lab (with adult supervision of course). Visit museums together, talking about history and art. Don’t just expect your child to learn this summer, become an active participant as well.

Take advantage of the many free online lessons on sites such as, or our online partners, or

Also, check out our Parent Power and iRead blogs on the State Department of Education’s website, These pages have some fabulous resources for parents and children, from a list of popular summer camps to lists of best books to read.

I’d also like to invite all parents or child caregivers to Parent Night at the State Department of Education’s Vision 2020 summer conference. Parent Night is from 6 to 7:45 p.m. June 11 at the Cox Convention Center. The night is free and will feature breakout sessions on topics such as college and career planning, ACE for parents, Career Tech, job profiling, parental involvement, childhood mental illness issues, understanding your child and the cyber world, and drug abuse. Register now for this important event at

Last updated on June 1, 2012