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Stop the Summer Slump: 3 easy ways to encourage learning all summer long

We made it.

After long hours and days encouraging (sometimes threatening) our children to finish homework, tests, quizzes, and projects, our kids have completed another school year. (Let all the mommas cheer).

As parents, we want to embrace lazy days. You know those days where our children stay up late, play video games for hours, and chill out watching tv. After all, those lazy days are needed just as much for us parents as it is for kids.

But we can’t let all our children have learned start to deteriorate. We have to do our part to prevent that summer slump.

So what a summer slump anyway?

A summer slump is when children experience a loss in what they learned during the school year. When they are not actively using their reading and math skills, children could lose an ENTIRE month’s worth of learning.

Just think, on average
• Student can lose up to two months of reading and math skills over the summer.
• Teachers spend an average of 4-6 RETEACHING material student forgot due to summer slump.

That’s a pretty big drop.

Now, I am not suggesting you create an all day structured learning environment at home (although some routine and structure are needed). It is summer after all! Instead, I am talking about intentionally providing learning opportunities for our children to grow and keep their academic skills sharp.

So let’s keep the summer slump away by keeping our children learning all summer long with these three easy steps.

Keep them reading

  • Actively reading EVERY DAY is an important skill our children need to continue during the summer. Spending time 30 minutes a day reading has a significant impact on a child’s ability to retain their reading skills.
  • Ways to keep your kid reading all summer long

    • Read the book THEN watch the movie
    • Let children choose their books
    • Read aloud: Taking the time to read aloud to your children aids them with expanding their interaction with texts.
    • Reading programs: Several businesses like Barnes and Noble and Pizza Hut have free reading programs which reward children for reading. Our fellas have participated in both reading programs for years.
    • Visit your public library: Stock up on free high-interest books and participate in free events for children of all ages.
    • Online resources: Various resources like Kindle Unlimited, Audible, and even your public library have tons of online book options. This is particularly helpful for children who read through numerous books and when traveling.
    • Cooking: Encourage your child to read you the directions

    Keep them moving

    Keeping our children moving seems easy, right?


    As much as they look forward to that summer break, excitement can quickly turn into complaints of boredom. With the scorching heat, it’s easy for our kids to get stuck inside sitting around playing video games or lounging around watching tv. One important way to keep our children from experiencing a summer slump is to find everyday ways to keep our child off the couch and active. They need fun activities that encourage their creativity and keep their minds engaged.

    Ways to keep your kid moving all summer long

    • Family exercise
    • Go for walks together
    • Dancing
    • Summer camps: Whether it’s basketball or LEGOs, consider finding local summer camps to engage your child’s interest and mind.
    • Visit local parks: Most local parks have trails, playgrounds, and scenery to explore.
    • Create nature scavenger hunts
    • Community Service: Find ways to give back in your local community from serving at nursing homes, food banks, or community centers.
    • Build together
    • Plant a garden
    • Repurpose old furniture

    Keep them learning

    To keep math and reading skills up-to-date, children need to actively practice. Creating a summer schedule which includes time for fun and learning is essential. Every day our fellas are responsible for completing various learning activities of their choice. You don’t have to be an educator to keep your kid learning. There are all sorts of resources to help keep your kid learning.

    Ways to keep your kid learning all summer long

    • Create screen-free activities
    • Write an essay
    • Research a favorite athlete, team, author, food, etc
    • Practice cursive
    • Learn a language
    • Keep a summer journal
    • Visit local art galleries & museums
    • Write a letter to a family member or someone in the military

    Here are a few practice workbooks to help you get started (note these are affiliate links)

    Summertime is an excellent opportunity to keep reading, keep moving, and keep learning. Be willing to be creative, be consistent, and have FUN.

    Have a great summer,

    We participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This blog post contains affiliate links.


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    50 comments on “Stop the Summer Slump: 3 easy ways to encourage learning all summer long

    1. These are some great ideas! It’s always a struggle, but worth it to implement a routine right at the beginning of summer. Otherwise I find that they resist a lot more.

    2. These are great ideas! We have been moving between going to the pool and being super lazy. It’s been a nice break but we definitely need to incorporate some learning in there too!

    3. The amount of material that’s forgotten over the summer is crazy!! I love these ideas and I think reading is HUGE when keeping kids creative, learning and busy! Great ideas!

    4. Love your ideas! And I also love that you’ve allowed for plenty of downtime for a good recharge. I think that’s important for today’s kids too.

    5. Sonja- Too Much Character

      YES!!! As a former elementary teacher, I cannot like this post enough! Read the books. Go to the library and find the funniest ones. It’s amazing how that can help your child retain skills learned during the school year.

    6. Great ideas for summer! I especially liked the reading programs at Pizza Hut and Barnes and noble. Going to check those out for my kids now!

      • Mamie L. Pack

        Yay!! The reading program for Barnes and Noble even rewards them with free books. Pretty sweet!

    7. Excellent ideas!

    8. I love this! The Summer Slump is a real thing…it can happen quickly too! Great ideas…thanks for sharing!

      • Mamie L. Pack

        Oh, it really is. Parents can help even in small ways.

    9. Amazing ideas. I always keep my kids reading and doing their daily activities even though they’re still only toddlers. This list is great.

      • Mamie L. Pack

        Way to go!! Starting while they are toddlers is phenomenal.

    10. Love all of these tips! So needed for our family now that we have a rising 1st grader!

      • Mamie L. Pack

        Yay! Blending fun and learning will definitely help prevent some of that summer slump.

    11. These are such great ideas. I will totally be keeping them in mind for the summer !

    12. These are awesome Mamie. I plan to implement plenty of these going forward this summer.

      • Mamie L. Pack

        Yay!!! Hope you have a summer full of learning and fun.

    13. These are great ideas! I always try to keep my kids active and engaged during the summer!

      • Mamie L. Pack

        Me too Tiffany! Sometimes it can be challenging but worth it for sure.

    14. Hoang Vi Fessenden

      This is great! I love doing productive activities!

      • Mamie L. Pack

        Oh, thank you! It’s great to keep the kids active.

    15. Tiffanie A Westgor

      I love your list! It makes sense with what happens to the decline in children’s education during summertime. This list is great to encourage us to keep it up for the kids!

    16. It is our winter holiday here now and it isn’t as long as yours but this is such a valid point. We homeschool and earlier in the year when we my oldest had school holidays I stopped school with the younger kids and it was a mess.
      They were so out of routine and acted out and it took us ages to get back into is. So this time I am carrying on with our routine, even if we do more “fun” activities that arent so intense we will stick to the learning.

      • Mamie L. Pack

        We forget how fun we can make learning. It’s little things that make a big difference.

    17. mamawritesreviews

      THe summer slump is REAL! I have to keep my kids learning all summer.

    18. I think the key is to be able to make the learning fun – so that it doesn’t feel like work to them. I love your list of ideas! Of course, reading is always a go-to and one of the best ways to keep little minds moving!


    19. Great ideas! And while I am trying to ensure some bit of reading, writing, and math make their way into the summer schedule, I am trying to make sure it does get boring;

    20. Wonderful list of suggestions to keep it simple but also keep the wheels turning!

    21. Oh these are great ideas! My son loves movies and books, I didn’t think to read a book with him first and then watch the movie adaptation of it. Great job!

      • Mamie L. Pack

        Yes!!! It’s fun to do. We will talk about the differences and which was better.

    22. So important! My son barely scooted by with his reading this past year so we’re really trying to keep him up to speed. It’s hard to keep the kids on a learning track during the summer, but these are some great tips! Thank you!

      • Mamie L. Pack

        Reading takes a big hit in the summer. Some kids drop 1-3 months of learning. Keep him reading.

    23. Summer slide is real! These are super helpful to keep kids active, and learning while having fun during their summer break. Thanks for sharing these.

      • Mamie L. Pack

        Oh, yes! It takes effort to help keep our kiddies learning.

    24. I love this…great suggestions…I like the thought of making a time capsule!

      • Mamie L. Pack

        Creating a time capsule is easy and a simple way to capture your memories.

    25. momracheal

      Great Post. I Enjoyed reading. It is important to keep the little ones brain’s working even on holidays. A great way is to implement dun ways of learning!. Thanks for this post.

    26. These are such great tips to keep kids learning all summer. I too think there are many educational activities that are fun! Besides no more “I’m bored.” Right?

    27. Super great list! I used to read soooo many books as a kid. It all started with the pizza program that they had, as you mentioned! If you read so many books, you get free pizza. Summertime takes a lot of planning to keep our kids active for sure.


      These are great suggestions!! My oldest is still on the young side, but she loves to make cards for people so she practices her writing and works on her spelling, which is great!

    29. I’ve been trying to keep the kids reading, and we’ve been working on appropriate math skills for their ability levels. Yes, they have a lot of screen time too, but we try to encourage learning apps and not just empty shows.

    30. The summer slump is real! Reading is a great way to keep their mind going! I love the idea of keeping a summer journal – it makes a great keepsake for them to look back on too!


    31. This was the absolute most perfect post to read right about now. My daughter is in the midst of her summer slump and I am trying everything to keep her learning, and it hasn’t been easy. These are awesome ideas! We’re going to the library to start the reading program tomorrow!

    32. tiffanyebarry

      Great ideas! We definitely encourage reading every day and try to do fun crafts and such when we can, but by July my creativity is running thin. I love this list!

    33. When I was a teacher I always recommended the Barnes and Noblem program, and many others to prevent the summer slide. Parents were always so shocked at just how much a student can lose over the summer. I love your scavenger hunt idea!

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