Summer slide, the learning regression that students experience during the summer break, can significantly set back the academic progress made during the school year. However, informed and proactive parental involvement can mitigate these effects by integrating educational activities into children’s daily routines during their summer vacation.

The most significant partnership to help students be successful is between parents and educators. Parents are students’ first teachers. Therefore, building a solid relationship with parents ensures that students receive a consistent message from parents and educators.

To help mitigate the summer slide, schools should equip parents with multiple activities to engage their students. Two favorite activities are reading challenges and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). While High School students will have a summer reading list to prepare for the new school year, younger students can participate in reading challenges and activities.

Summer camps are also a favorite summer activity for students. While summer camps are fun and engaging for students, they usually are one to weeks in duration. So, I encourage parents to sign up for a library card from their local library. In addition to accessing books and movies, the libraries also offer storytime, craft lessons, science and math activities, and performances.

Practical Strategies for Parents and Caregivers

Here are several effective strategies that parents can employ to support their children’s learning continuity over the summer:

Daily Reading: Encourage a daily reading habit. Parents can include trips to the local library as part of the weekly routine, participate in summer reading challenges, or set aside time each day for reading at home.

Incorporate Math in Everyday Activities: Simple math activities can be incorporated into everyday tasks. Cooking, shopping, and even planning day trips can involve math skills like measuring, budgeting, and time management.

Educational Games and Technology: Utilize educational games and apps that focus on subjects like math and science to make learning fun and engaging. Many educational platforms offer summer-specific programs designed to maintain educational momentum.

Outdoor Educational Activities: Plan activities that have a learning component, such as nature walks, science experiments in the backyard, or visits to museums. These activities can provide hands-on learning opportunities that are both fun and educational.

Stay Informed and Collaborative: Parents should stay informed about the educational resources available in their community and collaborate with schools and local organizations that offer summer learning programs. This not only helps in finding resources but also in reinforcing the learning activities at home.

“Parents play a pivotal role in preventing summer slide by integrating budget-friendly educational activities into daily routines.”

-Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Parental involvement is crucial in preventing summer learning loss. By being proactive and incorporating learning into students’ daily lives during the summer, parents can play a significant role in preventing learning loss and preparing them for the coming academic year.


“When students are led well, they learn well.”

The views shared in the Educational Leadership Moment are solely mine and do not reflect the positions of my employer or any entity within the local, state, or federal government sectors.

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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.