Avoid the “Summer Slide” for Your Kindergarten-Ready Child

If your child is an Alta Head Start graduate and will be entering Kindergarten in the fall, there are a lot of changes on the way for him or her to process over the summer — bigger class sizes, longer days, no more nap time and usually less communication between teachers and parents.

Students all over the country are facing this same transition. The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) recently held their first-ever conference focused on this milestone period.

One of the workshops at this conference focused on what parents need to know about the summer before kindergarten. Here are a few tips that were offered to parents to help keep their children stimulated and avoid the “summer slide”:

  1. Talk to your child. Use day-to-day interactions, whether in the kitchen, playground or at the beach, to facilitate learning and observation.
  2. Focus on emotion. Social and emotional skills are just as key as the ABCs. Practice expressing feelings in healthy ways, taking turns and expressing empathy with others.
  3. Make a summer reading list. Strive for 20 minutes of reading each day. At the end of the story, ask questions like: What was your favorite part of the story? Does it remind you of any other stories? What are we going to read next time?
  4. Get out of the house. Planning outings to museums and other local attractions — or just spending time outdoors together in the neighborhood — is a great way to make learning fun and encourage physical development and play.

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