Summer is almost here! But along with summer fun comes summer slide, the learning loss that occurs when children do no educational activity during the summer months of no school. That loss is real: studies show that most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Experts also agree that children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often slide backward.

How can we help our children avoid this slide? We can start by checking out the Common Sense Media Summer Learning Guide, found here. This guide provides a list of great apps, games, and websites for learning while doing this summer.

Then, let’s make sure our sons are planning their summer reading. Check out our recent post “Summer Reading 2015” found here for some suggestions on how to do this.

Before my children entered high school, right after school was over for the year we’d take a trip to the local large bookstore (harder to find these days, but there are still some around). We’d pick up some fun books for the summer, and I’d always also pick up some workbooks, usually one for the academic year they’d just finished and one for the coming year. That way they could review and get a taste of what was coming next year during the summer. I would usually pick up the appropriate volumes of the “SummerBridge Activities” workbook series, but there are usually many brands to choose from.

Hitting the road this summer? However you are traveling, make sure your sons have plenty of word games and math puzzles to keep them company during the trip. If you will be spending a lot of time in the car this summer, engage your sons in car games to give them alternatives to constant video game playing or movie watching. You can play”The Alphabet Game” where each person would take a letter of the alphabet and find something on the road that begins with that letter. (For example, the first person would have “A”, and would see an antenna).

And be sure to check out the “44 Proven Ideas Parents Can Use to Help Their Children Do Better in School” offered on the Reading is Fundamental site here. While these ideas are not specifically geared towards summer learning, they can certainly be used during the summer to help your son stay summer strong.

How are you planning to combat summer slide with your sons? Send us your tips!