The commencement exercises at the end of the year were nothing short of incredible. Your pint-sized superhero seemed to earn every academic award at their Orlando school. At the advent of summer, you allowed reading and studying to fall behind planned vacations, trips to the beach, and playing with friends because every child deserves a break, and with your child being that far ahead of the curve, what could it hurt?

Research has proven time and again it can hurt quite a bit. In the short span of two months, if your child does not continue reading and studying at least periodically, their learning curve diminishes sharply. Ninety percent of teachers are frustrated by the fact that the first three to six weeks of every school year are dedicated to reviewing information from the previous year that has fallen by the wayside of summer’s lazy days. Nearly 1/5 of all material covered–twenty-two percent of last year’s lessons–are lost during summer break. Students lose two months of math equivalency over the summer, and almost the same amount in reading.

To prevent the summer slide, encourage your child to read. By planning a specific time every day for reading–and setting an example by reading yourself–you are sending a message to your child that reading is important, enjoyable, and necessary. Carve time out of your summer schedule to visit the zoo, aquarium, park, or science museum to stimulate your child and keep his or her interest in education alive. If your summer does not include travel, grab paper and pencils to create marvelous works of art and write stories–anything that stimulates exploring, thinking, and learning.

Help decrease the effect of learning’s summer slide by spreading the word. Share this message with friends and encourage others to keep their children learning during summer’s languid months.