By Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) — It’s almost time for summer vacation! Students and families will get a break from the school year to enjoy the good weather.

But while kids enjoy freedom, teachers hope parents can help students hold on to what they’ve learned during the school year by taking some simple steps. That’s because, after studying hard all year, educators worry about the “summer slide.”

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“There’s a lot of research – 100 years of it – that shows kids lose ground in reading and math in summer if they’re not active,” said Boston After School and Beyond‘s Chris Smith.

Smith says parents of young children should get creative with fun learning. Older kids need more.

“When you get to middle school and high school, you have to appeal to an interest a little bit more – what do they want to get good at,” said Smith.

There’s one thing experts and teachers agree on about summer learning loss — even just a little bit goes a long way.

Max Patlan, an 8th grade teacher at Frederick Middle School in Boston, thinks parents can do a lot by reading just 20 minutes a day.

“You absolutely see summer regression and it varies in degree depending on the individual learner but it does vary in degree and it is there,” said Patlan.

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He says it can take a month or two of review to get kids back on track — so read, and keep kids thinking about math as well.


“Working with money is a great opportunity to brush up on math skills over the summer,” said Matlan.

“It doesn’t have to be just reading or math it could be sailing or playing in the bogs learning about science,” said Arianna Miliotis, an educator who runs free summer learning programs for  Boston Public Schools.

“Every kid needs something different and in Boston we have so many opportunities to direct them,” she said.

Miliotis says Boston Summer Programs are free or have just a minimal fee. Nearby towns, libraries and local museums also have summer programs.

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Paula Ebben