Preventing the summer slide: ways to keep your kids from falling behind in school

Posted at 6:45 AM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 06:45:01-04

While your kids are enjoying their summer vacation, you don't want them to completely forget about school.

If they do, it can lead to something called the "summer slide."

That's when kids lose some of what they've learned during the previous school year.  Students lose an average of two months in reading, which can have long-lasting impacts.

Research shows students who don't read well by the third grade are more likely to drop out when they're in high school.

To keep your kids from falling behind, News 3 reached out to Meghan Manning with Bespoke Education Services for some ideas to keep them engaged.


Elementary School Students

  • Match reading ability
    • Students should be reading books on their level.  Choose books that aren't too easy or too hard.
    • Their DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) Level can be found on the online Parent Portal for VBCPS.  Students can then Google books that are on their DRA level.
  • Make it fun
    • For older elementary students, Mad Libs are a fun way to incorporate reading and grammar.

Middle School Students

  • Change it up
    • While reading traditional books is important, if your child prefers to read e-books or books on an app, that is still reading, and those are great options for the summer.

High School Students

  • This is a time when they can really dive into a topic of their own interest and find reading material on that topic, whether books or online sources.

All levels

  • Join the local libraries’ summer reading programs.  The whole family can join together.
  • Children and teens read significantly more when adults in their lives encourage it and when they see those adults reading themselves.


  • Students at every level can keep a journal of all of their summer adventures and activities.


  • Many districts give students access to math websites, so continue to use those regularly throughout the summer.
  • Some fun ideas – Legos, card games, chess, and baking all incorporate math and problem-solving skills.

Bespoke Education Services is based out of Virginia Beach and provides personalized, one-on-one education services for students.