The Summer Slide: Do Bad Moms Care?

By on May 28, 2012

The summer slide — it sounds way more fun than it is. That's just because the first thing I think of is a Slip 'N Slide. Of course, I don't really have any childhood memories of an actual Slip 'N Slide. What I do remember is a birthday party with some garbage bags taped together under a sprinkler for the kids while the adults sat around in the backyard drinking and chain smoking. Ah, nostalgia.

But I digress. The summer slide is actually what it's called when kids forget some of what they've learned or otherwise regress over summer break. My oldest kid is just finishing his first year of French Immersion and will be going into Grade One in the fall. Should I be worried about this?

From what I can tell, reading to your kids and getting them to read on their own is the number one best thing they can do to keep from sliding over the summer. I assume some amount of reading in French would also be good for us. (Although, there's only so much abuse I can take from my six year old over my horrible French accent.) And while we do read to the kids everyday, I have to admit that the supplementary French reading hasn't really been happening over the school year.

We're also up against deadlines for registering for summer swimming lessons and day camps and I'm not sure what to do. On the one hand, it could feel like a very long summer if we have NOTHING to do. On the other, oh my god does nothing ever sound good. *cough* I mean, won't the daily scramble of getting three kids out the door and off to various activities make it even more difficult to find the time for extra reading?

Is it possible that doing less might actually be better for the kids? Better for the kids and easier and cheaper for me? We already have a t-ball practice and game every week and Irene's doing a two-week long kindergarten readiness program. Maybe that's more than enough.

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Do you believe in lazy summers? Or do you like to use the time to engage in lots of different activities? Do you worry about the summer slide?

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About Rebecca

Rebecca (aka @rebeccakeenan) has been neglecting her kids to mess around on the internet and work on her blog since 2007. Her hobbies include late-night grocery shopping, stepping on Lego and buckling three kids in and out of car seats over and over again. She then regurgitates it all at Playground Confidential. Of course.

Comments

  1. Lisa b says:

    you need to find some good french videos for the summer!

  2. Michelle Scrimgeour-Brown says:

    I think it really depends on the kid. My now 8yo has struggled to get on track with reading since he started school. His handwriting is not great, and he excels at math. Last summer, I printed out a bunch of worksheets from a free website, organized by grade. He had to do 3 worksheets a day, and he was happy with that. Generally it took him about 90 mins to complete, which was about the length of time my then 3yo napped for. It was my favourite time of the day… :)

    All this is to say that YES I worry about summer slide and have plans in place to work on them. There are a LOT of great web resources for English-language reading (like tumbr books which you can access for free through the Peterborough Library’s website) — there must be an equivalent for French-language. Ask his teacher, I’m sure she has some recommendations. They think playing on computers is actually just play. And hey — it’s free! Love that. :)
    Michelle Scrimgeour-Brown´s last [type] ..10 Years… How Long is that, Exactly?

  3. Aussie says:

    I can remember panicking when I was about 8 or so because I thought I had forgotten how to write after the Summer holidays. 5 minutes later, much to my relief, I was back in the swing of it.

    Am amazed at the US kindergarten readiness programs that seem to be quite prevalent – from what I have read via Google your ‘kindergarten’ is equivalent to our ‘prep’ (the year before Grade 1) except that it is more like our old version (back when it was called ‘preschool’ and was half days and more play-based). If my thinking is right then what on earth does a child need to do in preparation for their preparation-year of school?

    My brain is hurting now. I don’t get it?!?