Library Books

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Teachers everywhere dread it, and kids don't even know it's happening.

It's called "the summer slide."

"The summer slide is something that happens, unfortunately, over the summer when our kids are not exposed to different content, or they're not reading," JCPS Family Engagement Specialist Chrystal Hawkins said. "We just see a little bit of a dip when they get back to school in the fall, so we want to absolutely prevent that."

Hawkins shared the top five ways any parent can keep kids on track this summer:

1. Reading

Find books your child loves, read together, or turn it into it a game. Log a few minutes each day or join a local summer reading program.

"It's super important that our kids are exposed to as many books as possible," Hawkins said. 

2. Cooking

"It's a lot of information about following directions and math," Hawkins said.

Plus, it's a good way to be creative and get a snack.

3. Word of the week

Learn a different word each week.

"Kids need to build a vocabulary over the summer," Hawkins said.

Parents can choose their own words or check out vocabulary apps, depending on a kid's age group.

4. Field trips

You don't have to spend a lot of money.

"Go on a field trip with a family friend, and then have your kids write about the field trip," Hawkins said.

For example, visit an animal shelter or go on a hike at a free park.

5. Check out free local programs

"Contact your school or your library or your church to see if there are any free programs (kids) can attend," Hawkins said.

All of these ideas are either free or cost very little and any grade level can participate. They also don't take a lot of time, Hawkins said.

"I know that families are very busy over the summer," she said. "But one word a week or reading a little bit of a book each week or each day, it really pays off. It makes such a difference."

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