Kent ISD shares how to avoid the summer slide

How to Avoid the Dreaded Summer Slide

It isn’t much of a leap to start dreaming of carefree summer months after a few days of sunshine and sixty degree weather here in Michigan. Summer is often categorized as free time – a time to kick back, relax, and revel in the freedom of schedule “free” days.

However, the sad reality is that hidden behind this lovely cloak of sunshine and warm weather comes some real risks that can result from summer learning loss.

Research completed over hundreds of years has demonstrated that students are likely to shut down their minds during this time and can suffer significant educational consequences.  In fact, students generally score worse on a standardized test in early Fall than they do on the very same test the previous spring (Downey 2004).

According to a study published in the Review of Educational Research, nearly all students lose roughly two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students suffer even greater consequences and also lose more than two months in reading achievement (Cooper, 1996).

For some parents, it can feel daunting to take on the sole responsibility of your child’s education over the summer. However, finding to engage students intellectually is imperative to stemming learning loss during the summer months.

Summer Reading Loss, Summer Slide, How do you avoid it?

Reading Summer Kent ISDThe good news is that parents don’t have to do it alone.  We can stop this from happening. There are many resources provided locally that will offer support and resources to help their children continue to flourish intellectually.

Ways to prevent summer reading loss:

  • read something every day
  • read different types of text
  • have conversations around the reading
  • ask questions about the reading
  • incorporate writing or drawing with reading

Kent ISD has compiled a list of literacy resources to help your students throughout the summer months.Click HERE to see additional reading resources.

Local Summer Camps

Science Camp Kent ISDAnother great way to stimulate young minds is to encourage your students to participate in one or more of the local summer camps offered through a variety of local organizations.

These camps offer an incredible range of experiences that might challenge the student to build a robot, write a sonnet, perform a skit, create a website, identify a medical ailment,  design a structurally sound tower or even solve a ‘crime’ based on forensic investigation.

There are many camps available that will challenge your students’ thinking and hopefully get the gears turning about what they may want to do when they grow up. After all, it seems that people who follow their passions to find their professions are the happiest in the long run.

Kent ISD’s Career Readiness Department has compiled a list of local camps with a wide range of offerings [Click HERE]. Explore the options on this list and know that scholarships are available for many of these experiences. Enrollment has already begun for many camps, so sign up and help to stem the tide of summer learning loss!

If you have additional resources to share with our readers, please comment below.

This post was written by Lindsey Tilley, Career Exploration Coordinator at Kent ISD and edited by Amanda Walma Professional Learning Coordinator at Kent ISD.


Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 66, 227-268.

Downey, D, von Hippel, P., and Broh, B. (2004). Are schools the great equalizer? Cognitive inequality during the summer months and the school year. American Sociological Review, 69, 613-635.

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