Is Summer Slide and Brain Drain Real?

Are the ideas of the ‘summer slide’ and the ‘brain drain’ real?

Dear Rebecca,

Are the ideas of the “summer slide” and summer “brain drain” real, or are they just things made up by the media?

According to studies, summer slide is real. But, my experience helping homeschooling families over the past 20 years shows that homeschooled kids experience summer slide less than traditionally schooled children do. There are probably several reasons for this. For one thing, most homeschooling families homeschool year round. We just change the way our homeschooling looks in the summer. We make it more about fun and personal goals and less about keeping up with the curriculum.

I also think that homeschooling families always tend to be on the lookout for “teaching moments.” Sometimes we make our kids crazy with these, but teaching moments keep summer slide to a minimum. For us homeschoolers, education is a priority so we tend to do it all the time.

For elementary students (even homeschoolers), “reading slide” and “math slide” can be a problem. So be sure to incorporate fun reading and math activities into your summer day.

When families make it a point to enthusiastically pursue learning opportunities throughout the year—even in the summer–we are telling our kids that we value learning and that being open to new experiences, knowledge and discovery is our family’s way of life. In the summer it may look different, of course—more sparkly, quirky, and colorful than in February perhaps—but the message remains the same: we are always individuals striving to learn, grow, and try new things

Keep reading. In this issue of Homeschooling and Loving It, I have many great ideas for you on how to organize your summer for learning, how to find great summer products that don’t break the bank, and how to make your summer learning motivational and inspirational.

For even more information about the summer slide and how to prevent it, go to: