If There's Only 1 Thing You Do on Your Kid's Last Day of School, Make It This

It seems like as soon a new school year starts, my kids begin counting down the days until Summer vacation. One of my top priorities is to make sure that they have a wonderful Summer break, filled with trips to the beach, mountains of ice cream, and plenty of time to relax and recharge from their school year. My kids work very hard and get excellent grades, so I believe they deserve the chance to spend a few months having carefree fun. However, I do take measures ahead of time to make sure my kids don't experience Summer slide.

Summer slide refers to the loss of the math and reading skills children learned during the school year. According to the Brookings Institution, if children's minds are not stimulated during the Summer, they'll lose between 25 and 30 percent of what they learned during the school year. That is why on the last day of school, I take a few steps to make sure my children will be prepared for their next first day of school.

Before Summer break begins — and my child's teacher has wrapped up for the school year — I make arrangements to meet with the teacher to discuss what subjects my child struggled with during the year. That way, I know what areas to focus on over Summer break. I also ask the teacher for program, book, website, and app recommendations, which I've found teachers are more than happy to provide. Sometimes, they even give me classroom materials for my child to use during the Summer. Teachers are seriously the best!

On the last day of school, a ton of my child's completed classwork comes home. I go through all of it and save a selection of assignments, worksheets, and tests in all subject areas. During the Summer, I have my child review them every weekday (I am a firm believer that weekends are strictly for fun, especially in the Summer) and find similar assignments and worksheets for her to complete. Education.com is a fantastic website and my one-stop shop for free printable worksheets, as well as lesson plans, project ideas, and even educational games. By keeping my child's brain engaged on a daily basis, she doesn't forget all that she learned during the school year. Come the first day of school, she'll be ready to learn new material instead of needing to review the old.

By doing these things on the last day of school, my child will be better prepared and ready for the following school year. Of course I want her to have a fantastic Summer break, but as her parent, it's also my job to help her avoid the Summer slide and keep her brain stimulated and on track by reviewing what she's learned, improving in subjects she's struggled with, and looking forward to learning new material in the future.