How Kids Can Avoid the 'Summer Slide' and Gear Up for Summer Learning Week on July 12-16

As we enter National Summer Learning Week (the celebration dedicated to elevating the importance of kids learning) and soak up the last month before it's back to school, the learning should never be put on pause. At IDEA Public Schools, we believe all scholars should remain scholastically sharp by engaging in summer reading and activities. Not only can this be fun, but data shows students who read during summer vacation are more likely to score higher on tests once school starts back up for fall.

To avoid the "Summer Slide" - the tendency for children to lose some academic gains they made during the previous school year - here are some suggested tips and books to encourage any child at home to learn something fun during National Summer Learning Week.

Fun activities:


  • Build a bird feeder: Invite summertime birds to your yard with a DIY bird feeder. To make it, simply coat sticks with peanut butter and roll them in birdseed. It's the perfect opportunity to teach kids about nature and animals.

  • Tour your local police or fire station: Take a tour of your local emergency station! Since most locations don't have set visiting hours and rules for making on-site visits may have changed amid COVID-19, call ahead to arrange an appointment.

  • Scavenger Hunt: Whether you set up this free summer activity for kids indoors or outdoors, the objective remains the same: find hidden objects using clever clues.

  • Turn it into a word scavenger hunt by hiding words on post-it notes around the house. Each time they find it and read the word correct, they get a point.

  • Read a story together: By showing your child that reading can be fun, this would spark interest and encourage them to continue reading on their own at home and at school. Showing them that you are equally as excited to read a story and find out what happens next will have them wanting to turn each page and learn more.


Reading tips:


  • Choose the right books. We suggest the “Goldilocks Effect”— don’t make it too easy or too hard. Instead, make it just right!

  • Explore new interests – Encourage your child to explore interesting topics they want to read about. Let them try different genres and formats— fiction, non-fiction, e-books, magazines, or whatever gets them going.

  • Read eBooks – You can find great eBooks to read using myON (program included for IDEA students). Read anywhere at any time with myON on a smart phone, tablet or computer. See login information below.

  • Set a summer reading goal – How many books can your child read this summer? Post and chart progress toward the goal. Have a friendly family competition with a special reward to show your kids that reading is also a priority for you.


Suggested Book List:


  • 1st - 2nd Grade Title: Blackout - Author: John Rocco Title: Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach - Author: James Dean Title: Hello Ocean - Author: Pam Munoz Ryan

  • 3rd – 5th Grade Title: Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer - Author: Megan McDonald Title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - Author: Jeff Kinney Title: Clean Getaway - Author: Nic Stone

  • 6th – 8th Grade Title: What are the Summer Olympics? - Author: Gail Herman Title: Front Desk - Author: Kelly Yang Title: Restart - Author: Gordon Korman

  • 9th – 12th Grade Title: Nowhere on Earth - Author: Nick Lake Title: Swing - Author: Kwame Alexander Title: Luck of the Titanic - Author: Stacy Lee


About IDEA Public Schools:

IDEA Public Schools believes that each and every child can go to college. Since 2000, IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school with 150 students to the fastest-growing network of tuition-free, Pre-K-12 public charter schools in the United States. Currently, the network serves 66,000 college-bound students in 120 schools across Texas and Louisiana. IDEA has been recognized as a “Great Place to Work” and received national rankings on The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report’s Top High Schools lists. IDEA remains on-track to uphold its legacy of sending 100% of its graduates to college.