The Summer Slide and How Students Can Stay Ahead

Beating the summer slide

Summertime. The magical time of year when many students are free from the stress and grind of the school year, and rightfully so. You’ve worked hard submitting projects, turning in assignments, and passing tests. The time off is well-earned (and well-earned for the teachers too!). However, the downside of this break is the dreaded “Summer Slide”. This phenomenon occurs when students lose the progress they made during the previous academic year. Don’t fear though, there are a variety of activities students can do to keep their minds sharp!

What is the Summer Slide?

As we said, the Summer Slide refers to the loss of academic skills and knowledge that can occur during the summer months. Research has shown that students can lose an average of one month or more of progress during the summer break.

Why is the Summer Slide a Problem?

The Summer Slide causes many problems for both students. 

  • Most students spend the first two months of the school year re-learning skills that were established by the end of the previous school year. 
  • The skill loss can lead to a significant drop in confidence and motivation.
  • Students who experience the summer slide severely enough during their final year of high school will struggle to achieve the goals necessary to graduate.

Basically, these are skills that you worked hard to gain, it’d be a shame to have to re-learn them. Furthermore, retaining those skills means you’ll start the next year with more confidence and experience instead of potentially falling behind.

Beating the Summer Slide

Don’t worry, there are many ways that students can keep their minds engaged during the summer months. Here are some of our personal favorites.


Yeah, we know, we know. Just hear us out.

One of the most effective ways to beat the summer slide is reading. This doesn’t just help for your English classes either, this can help you out in all your classes. It’s proven that students who read often have higher rates of comprehension, retention, and recall. 

The good news is you only have to read for about 20 minutes a day to boost your reading game. It doesn’t have to be a book either! Magazines, blogs, and other long-form written media will do the trick. As long as you like what you’re reading and feel engaged, then congrats! You’re on the right track.

STEM Activities

Any math or science activities are a great way to keep your mind engaged during the summer! Similar to reading it doesn’t have to be a long drawn-out worksheet or assignment. Just one or two math problems a day can be enough to keep your math skills sharp! (We hear those really cool people over at Numerade have a TON of activities and content that would be just perfect for this <3).

The same goes for science! Consuming science-related content will help keep your logical thinking abilities fresh!


Traveling is great mostly because our brains our wired to crave and love new information. You don’t have to travel far either! Visit a museum that interests you or check out historical parts of your town. This can help you learn about history and culture all while immersing yourself in your community!


Volunteering is another solid way to keep your brain sharp during the summer. Best yet, it’s a way to make new friends or develop new interests all while lending others a hand. We recommend using an app like POINT to find reputable volunteer opportunities. You can refine your searches on the app to include opportunities that appeal to your interests and hobbies. 

The Wrap Up

Students beating the summer slide and having fun

The summer slide is real, but it can be beaten. The trick to motivating yourself is tying these activities together with something enticing. Headed to a museum or volunteer opportunity? Maybe try the new boba tea spot close to it or go skating in a nearby park. Use these tips you’ll definitely be ahead of the rest when it comes to hitting your school goals.  


  • Rob Shield

    Rob Shield is based out of Columbus, Ohio. As Numerade's copywriter, Rob uses their extensive background in education to inform and shape the topics and content posted to the blog for educators, parents, and students alike.