News 4 Schools: Balance of learning, fun can prevent 'summer sli - KMOV.com

News 4 Schools: Balance of learning, fun can prevent 'summer slide'

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Children work on reading, math and writing during their summer break to avoid skills regression. Children work on reading, math and writing during their summer break to avoid skills regression.

Research studies show that math and reading skills can rapidly decline over the summer months when children are out of school. But by encouraging children to keep their skills sharp during the summertime, experts say parents can prevent regression of key skills.

"A little bit of reading, you know, a couple times a week is all it really takes," said Dr. Corinn Cross of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Some parents use vacations or museum visits as a way to encourage their kids to learn during their summer break, like parent Maggie Neilson.

"Get them reading, get them to museums, or studying for a trip we might go on, or whatever the case might be," said Neilson.

Dr. Cross said summer learning is especially important for younger students, to keep the momentum going.

"You don't want to really have pushed it and really tried to have learned how to read in kindergarten, first, second grade and then do nothing for two and a half months, because they really do fall behind," Dr. Cross said.

In addition to reading 30 minutes a day, experts say parents should encourage their children to keep a journal or write letters as a way to practice writing over the summer.

Most importantly, though, experts stress the importance of balancing learning and fun.

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