There’s always this big, scary fear for parents at this time of year. It’s the OMG; what if my kid forgets everything he learned over the past 9 months?! What if he goes back to school in the fall, and he’s at the bottom of the class? What if he’s one of the kids that is the cause of the curriculum re-teaching the whole last year in the first month of school?
Well, let’s hit reality, folks. The summer slide exists. But it’s pretty rare that a family that cares enough to worry about it will suffer it.
You know who will suffer? The kids whose parents push them all summer long with worksheets. That kid will suffer. And the kid whose parents completely ignore their kids and let them sit in front of the TV all summer. That kid will suffer. But your kid and my kid? They won’t suffer.
Parents who recognize that education is only half academic will encourage casual reading and investigating. They’ll limit TV time while pushing the kids outside to work on social skills and natural learning. These parents will encourage outings in their own and new environments.
Ever heard of a “teachable moment”? It’s the little things that happen every day. The questions a child asks or the things you pass by. When you take a minute and teach something from those moments, you’re educating your children.
Go ahead. Educate your child naturally this summer. Toss the workbooks and math quiz sheets and get out in nature and learn something new.
In 2009, I wrote a post, Chutes, and Ladders, with ideas for learning with your children this summer.