This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

Have you seen the Hub’s most recent newsletter? In this edition a familiar author 😊 mentions the “summer reading slide” and how students can often lose progress they’ve made in reading (and other subjects) over the summer months if they aren’t reading like they did during the school year. The article talks about ways you as a caregiver can encourage reading over the summer and some tips to make it fun. In addition to reading there are other ways you can help your child avoid the “summer slide” while taking advantage of the warmer, nicer weather.

-Handwriting – Who says you need a pen and paper to work on handwriting? Sidewalk chalk is perfect for this. One of my son’s favorite things to do outside is to run, jump and skip through obstacle courses created by him and my wife with sidewalk chalk. You can also get a bucket of water and a paintbrush and allow kids to practice writing their name or other fun words on the sidewalk or parking lot. This also has the added benefit of helping them cool off on hot days.

-Counting – Take your child to a berry or fruit farm and count the number of fruit you put in the basket. On road trips see if they can count how many hawks they see on the freeway or squirrels running around collecting food. This also helps them develop their observational skills and is a nice way to make a long drive go faster.

-Science – Head to your local fish hatchery and learn more about the life cycles of fish. Take a hike at Silver Falls State Park and see if you can notice what types of birds and plants live there. Pour your handwriting bucket of water out after your done and come back out to check on it in a few hours. Ask your child “where is the water going”?

Kids naturally love to play and are actually learning quite a bit while they do so. By incorporating simple learning activities in with the fun you can help their brains stay engaged and sharp while they enjoy the longer, sunnier days. Then you can be sure that when fall rolls around they will be ready to head back to school and pick up right where they left off.

Here’s another link with some great resources on beating the “summer slide”.

This is fatherhood…