3 Tips to Fight the “Summer Slide”

3 Tips to Fight the “Summer Slide”

Children avoiding the summer slide by reading books

You’ve heard about it, you’ve likely witnessed it in students, and you more than likely experienced it when you were young and still in school. As much as students (and teachers) love summer vacation, it comes with a downside: the “summer slide” (otherwise known as the “summer slump”), or the backslide in student learning that happens after being out of school for a long period of time, which means teachers may need  to cover old material to refresh students before they can progress to new lessons. 

But it’s not inevitable. We’ve highlighted several ways K–12 educators can help fight that summer slide and help their students start off on the right foot when fall rolls around. 

1. Start a Summer Reading Program

Many public libraries host summer reading programs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t “host” your own! Have your students pick two or three grade-level-appropriate books to finish over summer break and prepare a five-minute presentation highlighting what they liked about them. For students interested in the classics, you could have them pick one of the full-text eBook classic literary works they can find in Bloom’s Literature for their summer reading. Bloom’s Literature also features a wide range of literary criticism, reference essays, and even video performances of many great works to help them understand and absorb what they read. 

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2. Inspire Learning All Summer Long

Just because the school year is ending doesn’t mean your students’ questions stop. Any parent can tell you—the questions keep coming. Encourage independent learning with Learn360 all summer long! Challenge students to share topics and programs that match their interests. 

Learn360 allows educators to create and share playlists on a wide range of LMSs including Schoology and Canvas, so you can make themed playlists of educational videos to share with your students. How about videos about sharks for Shark Week, or videos about the American Revolution for the 4th of July? You can even add a personalized introduction to Learn360 playlists, allowing you to put together your own introduction to the videos. 

Also, if your school also subscribes to The Mailbox® Plus, you can access more than 54,000 worksheets, activities, and lessons via Learn360 for prekindergarten through grade 6 that you can share with your students. 

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3. Science Projects—Do Try This at Home!

A good way to help students fight the summer slide is to give them an activity that can help exercise their brains. Consider assigning a science project to each student that they can do over the summer and have them check in with their findings once their project is done. The World Almanac® for Kids Elementary (for elementary students), The World Almanac® for Kids (for middle school students) and Science Online (for grades 7–12) each include a variety of science projects, many of which can be performed at home with a little help from students’ parents, including: 

  • Do Plants Need Sunlight? (The World Almanac® for Kids Elementary): Test the theory that plants need sunlight to grow.

  • Making Flying Objects (The World Almanac® for Kids): Make and design a “boomerang” and a “flying star.”

  • Tornado Model (Science Online): Construct a model to demonstrate the creation of funnel-like clouds characteristic of tornadoes using common household materials.

Science Online also features interactive experiments from Learnetic that replicate the in-class laboratory experience in a safe and user-friendly environment—no caustic chemicals, open flames, or messy ingredients needed. 

Subscribers, want to see this content for yourself? Log in today to The World Almanac for Kids, The World Almanac for Kids Elementary, or Science Online today!

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See also:


Barlett, Sophie. “How to Prevent the Summer Slide: 9 Ways to Prepare Students for the New School Year.” Third Space Learning. October 5, 2023. https://thirdspacelearning.com/us/blog/prevent-summer-slide/.

Goldberg, Ariel. “What Summer Slide Actually Means—and 5 Ways to Fight It.” EdSurge. July 12, 2018. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-07-12-what-summer-slide-actually-means-and-5-ways-to-fight-it.  

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