Here’s a funny thing about this post: I actually had spent the weekend questioning the idea of “summer slide” (the alleged phenomenon in which students lose 2+ months of learning from the previous school year), only to open my computer on Monday to find this post on Edutopia: “New Research Casts Doubt on the ‘Summer Slide.'”
Here are 5 things that might be worse than that supposed summer slide:
1. Missing out on hose water, muddy hands, and grass stains.
2. Poisoned reading attitudes because of all those mandatory summer reading assignments.
3. Neglecting mixed-age & unstructured play opportunities: building blocks of childhood development that can be difficult to attend to during school months.
4. Underdeveloped balance and motor skills that interfere even with the child’s ability to sit upright once school resumes.
5. Missed opportunities to learn a new skill & develop self-regulation: riding a bike, learning to swim, even entrepreneurship.
Of course reading and math are important, and we all want to see our children grow. But growing, thriving, healthy children involves so much more than this narrow scope. Let’s not let our fear of “falling behind” get in the way of magical summers in which our kids are free to explore world around them, catching fireflies, selling lemonade, working on family projects, and starting clubs with friends. Let’s honor the many ways a child can grow throughout the summer.
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto