Summer slide is a very common phenomenon that is observed in children of all age groups, after the summer break. All the progress that they had made during the previous academic year goes back a few steps during this period of disconnection and disengagement. Almost every child shows these traits of summer slide and it is normal.
Children’s minds are constantly changing because they are constantly perceiving and receiving information. In this case, old information tends to get washed away. This causes learning loss in subjects like maths and grammar that need to be practiced every day. To be good at these subjects, students must stay in touch with their lessons every single day – even if it is for a few minutes.
Although summer breaks are for fun, moderation makes it even better. Playing all day is not good for anyone. Along with some physical exercise, a mental exercise that is done best while studying is recommended for proper growth. Summer slide is not that dangerous and can be managed easily with some external help. However, to accept that the summer slide is potentially harmful to a child’s progress is more important. Here are a few signs/proofs that your child is suffering from a summer slide.
Studying, like most things, is a habit. During summer breaks when students are away from studies for a long time, they lose this habit that is cultivated with a lot of difficulties during the academic year. Children, by nature, are very restless and studying also helps them to calm down and induces the habit of sitting still in them. So, if you see that your child is more restless at the dinner table or anywhere else, it might be proof that they are suffering from a summer slide.
Even adults face a certain difficulty in writing long paragraphs after they have not been in touch with a pen and paper for a long time. Their handwriting gets worse and their hands start to ache after writing a bit. Children are no different. If they don’t practice writing for a week or so even, you will understand. Look for signs such as bad handwriting and you will know that your child is losing the habit.
Besides preparing children with proper skills, studying also creates a lot of soft skills in your child. Concentration is one of them. It prepares them to sit and focus on something for long periods. So, if you notice that your child is not focused, it means that they are suffering from a summer slide. This will also affect their behavior during playtime and will become extremely evident to you over time.
Schools and other interactive platforms develop oratory skills in children. The more they talk, the better they get at it. However, summer break is mostly spent at home and children tend to lose touch with their speaking skills. Sure, you talk with your child but that is never the same as speaking in a social circle. Pandemic has further pushed children into quietness. Amidst all the chaos and school closures, some sort of interaction, even if it’s virtual, can help your child and their mental health a lot.
Unless your child is an avid reader, chances are that through the summer break, they will lose their reading skills. This is especially true for a new language. Children tend to lose the flow if they do not practice reading. Use the summer break to introduce your child to reading. However, if your child is not quite a reader, the alternative is reading their texts out loud for better pronunciation and flow.
So, now that you know that summer slides happen and also know their signs, you will be able to identify them better. Once you do, don’t wait for the school to reopen for them to get back to their previous academic levels. Schools hardly ever consider summer slide and start back at once from the point where they had stopped before closing. This creates coping difficulty in children and over time it gets detrimental to their future learning as well. Thus, notice these signs and take precautionary measures at the earliest.