SOURCE: Kiddie Academy

Kiddie Academy

May 20, 2011 12:00 ET

Avoiding the "Summer Slide"

Fun Learning Advice to Help Children Retain Skills All Summer Long

ABINGDON, MD--(Marketwire - May 20, 2011) - As the last school bell rings and children race home to enjoy the upcoming days of summer, risk arises for the "summer slide," an experience where children steadily lose knowledge gained throughout the school year from a lack of routine educational settings. As a result, children can fall behind in learning and have a more difficult transition when returning to school or educational child care facilities in the fall.

Recent studies have shown that parents find the summer months challenging times to engage children in productive activities and continuous learning environments. Kiddie Academy, a national child care and education franchisor, recommends parents stimulate their children's minds regularly with thought-provoking activities all summer long to avoid the "summer slide."

"By engaging children in educational activities and becoming involved in summer learning programs, parents can help establish a routine of continuous learning experiences for their child," said Claire Haas, vice president of education for Kiddie Academy. "Providing educational opportunities during the summer will help lessen the 'summer slide' effect and ease the transition back into the school year."

To help keep children's minds active during the summer and continue the learning experience at home, Haas offers the following tips for parents:

  • Check with your local library to see if they offer summer reading programs. Take advantage of read-aloud opportunities or choose short books to read at home and discuss together with your child.
  • Take field trips to local parks, zoos, aquariums or historical sites. These activities often incorporate creative and fun educational offerings, such as tours with trained tour guides to enhance the learning experience. For an added benefit, look into discount programs through local libraries or schools, visit during off-peak hours or take friends along for a group discount.
  • Talk to your child's teacher for tips or activities that will support what he learned through the year and prepare him for the next year. Ask for recommendations for summer reading from a teacher or library media specialist.
  • Start a family read-a-thon and track everyone's progress through a checklist that lets them see their success. Use stickers with your child's favorite cartoon character or animals to heighten his/her interest even more.
  • Incorporate learning into everyday family activities, such as asking your child to read directions or help you mix and measure ingredients for dinner.
  • Find a child care program that encourages learning through a wide variety of child-focused and exciting summer activities. Learning in and outside the home during the summer will help your child to gain skills from multiple environments moving into the next school year.

To speak with Claire Haas about tips for avoiding the "summer slide" or to learn more about Kiddie Academy, please contact Whitney Press at or (202) 296-2002 x106. For more education and parenting tips, sign up for the Parenting Essentials newsletter at