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How to Avoid Summer Slide (and Keep Kids off Social Media)

Summer is officially here and school schedules are replaced with free time. Lots of free time.


Does your kiddo spend their free time pegged to their phone? Are you concerned about the recent report about the concerns of social media for our youth? Do you want to provide an enriching summer experience for your student so the content they learned last year doesn't get forgotten?


Well, there is good news. Avoiding summer slide, and keeping kids off social media, is not that hard. Like many things in life, it just takes a bit of work and a plan.

Below are some suggestions you can do with your child this summer to ensure your student uses their brain for productive activities this summer:

  • Do a Home Improvement Project Together: No doubt you have a list of to-do projects for your home. Whether that be painting a room, landscaping, or even just rearranging the furniture, do these things with your child and engage their brain. For example, you could remind your student how math is key in calculating how many paver patios you need.

  • Read a Book Together: Reading is an obvious activity to keep the brain engaged. But reading together offers a space to discuss and analyze what you read. You can even do this with with an audio book, especially on a long car ride. Listen or read, then invite some discussion around the content. Even better, let the student pick the book and invite them to drive the questions and analysis.

  • Visit Colleges: This is a good idea no matter what age your student is. The more they see what a college experience could look like, the more they can see themselves there. In addition, conversations around what it takes to make it to college—and through—will have the student recognize that school work matters. And if you want to ramp this enrichment up, let the student plan the itinerary.

  • Research Local Names: Do you know why a particular park, street or building is named after a person? Dig into your local history and figure out who that person was and why they deserved to have something named after them. This can be super fun when you start to both honor and question this naming process.

Most importantly, explore the curiosity of your student. If they want to learn about something, feed that desire! They could do some research online but find ways for them to be off screens. Get super creative a create a bingo card for your student with a bunch of enriching activities, like the ones listed above. If they do five activities, for example, they can get a prize like a trip to the ice cream shop or similar.


Parenting never stops. And summer is a particularly tough time with lots free time and the draw of social media. We want to give students a much deserved break but we also want them to continue to develop their brains. Avoid summer slide by scheduling time away from screens so your child can read, write, calculate, analyze, reflect, think and engage their brains.




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