A local home school parent is doing her best to keep her kids from experiencing “Summer Slide”.
Summer slide is when children lose some of the knowledge they learned in school throughout the summer months. Ricki ten Hove says throughout the summer months she gives her 4 and 6-year-old kids short tests based on what they learned the previous year.
"In the summer, we probably do them maybe two or three or four times a week depending on how busy the week is, like my daughter right now is learning how to do adding and dividing so her test would be primarily that and my son is doing more complicated math so he might be calculating averages, stuff he has learned in the previous year."
For every correct answer, ten Hove says her kids each get a penny so they would get a quarter if they got 25 out of 25 right. She notes they also get money for their sibling's correct answers to teach them to encourage one another. They can then spend that money in the extensive prize bin she has created.
"They can choose to buy big prizes or they can choose to squander it on the small things like, for example, smarties are 4 cents, candy canes are 25 cents, but then you can save up for a big item if you don't want to squander it. There is a doll here for 2 dollars, there is a cool rabbit game from Dollarama that is 4 dollars. So it is teaching them a lot of financial smarts I guess you could say."
She says her kids often ask her when they can do the next quiz so that they can earn money. She notes it is a great way to keep them sharp during summer and prepare them for the next year.
The now-retired John Sawatzky was a middle-years teacher in the Southeast for 37 years. He notes at the beginning of every year, teachers must play some catch-up to get the kids back up to speed. He notes one of the most important things for young kids is reading.
"I would say keep practicing a lot of reading, I appreciate what the library does for our grandchildren. It is a wonderful summer reading program. That is a big help for children to stay sharp in their reading. That I would encourage and also home reading is very important."
Sawatzky says adults are no different. When we stop playing a sport or a game for an extended period of time, we must shake off the rust the next time we pick it up.