7 Expert Hacks To Avoid The Summer Slide

Hooray for summer break!

Don’t you just love the feeling of summer freedom?

No more homework, projects, or alarm clocks…

Long days by the pool, playing outside until dark, endless fun?

Summer is wonderful, and all of these things are great, but so is avoiding the “summer slide!”

What do we mean by “summer slide?”

This is the expected regression that children sometimes have when they are not in school.

We see them leave school in May at a certain level, and then when they don’t keep practicing their skills, they slide backward and start the new school year behind.

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This can be especially true for children with special needs!


Because so many of our children already struggle to keep pace during the school year. When they don’t have the routine practice of the classroom, they will be more susceptible to regression.

This can be;

  • Academically
  • Socially
  • Communication
  • And So Much More!

Avoid Summer Regression – Make Learning Fun

Here are some ways to avoid the “summer slide.”

1: Keep A Regular Routine

Yes, we all love not having to set our alarm clocks and sleeping-in every once in a while.

But, having no routine EVERY day can be damaging…

Kids need routine.

They thrive under routine.

By keeping a regular bedtime, wake-up time, and some simple routine activities, you can keep your child in “ready” mode. Ready for whatever they need to do that day.

2: Read!

This one is important, especially for children who struggle with reading.

Statistics say that children who do no read over the summer can lose up to 3 months of reading skills they have already learned!

This can be avoided, though by continuing to read…

Summer is a great time to hit the library and find out what kind of books your child truly enjoys reading!

It is the perfect time for your child to discover a love of reading and have fantastic adventures through stories.

Even if your child struggles with reading, that is ok. They don’t have to know every word to read.

Statistics show that kids keep growing in reading, just by doing more of it!

3: Do Puzzles and Play Games

This is a great way to build problem-solving and logic skills. You can also bring in math and other skills into fun games.

Your child will be learning and not even know it!

4: Go On Adventures!

Even if it is just a day trip, make it a grand adventure…

Create a “bucket list” and help your child check off things they want to do! Help your child document the journey through pictures and journals.

A travel journal is a great way to keep your child writing over the summer!

5: Keep Your Child Around Other Children

Social and communication growth is just as important as academic growth!

Some ideas include;

  • Summer Camps And Activities In Your Town
  • Play Date With Friends
  • Children’s Activities At The Local Library
  • Visit Local Parks
  • Children’s Museum
  • Much MUCH More

Play is essential learning, too!

6: ESY – Extended School Year

Ask your child’s school about Extended School Year services to see if that is an option. If your child has an IEP, he or she might be eligible for these services. Check it out and see!

7: Set A Specific Time For Academics

Set aside some time at least a couple of times a week to continue working on academics…

Have a specific area for work, so that your child knows this is work time, not playtime.

Have a goal for your child to work on over the summer and help them achieve it! The special education tutors here at Special Ed Resource can help with this!

I hope these ideas help you avoid the summer slide!

Do you have other ways that you help your child to keep making progress? Please share below, if so!


Teresa Stone, M.A.Ed.

Teresa Stone, M.A.Ed.

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