It’s no secret that kids highly anticipate the summer time – it’s a chance to relax, play, and enjoy a break from their usual structured school routine. However, for parents and educators, summer break also brings the challenge of helping kids avoid losing academic gains they made during the year, falling victim to what’s known as the “summer slide.”

Luckily, in the age of technology, kids have access to so many online educational resources. 

Let’s explore how educational apps can be a powerful tool to keep young minds engaged, effectively combatting the summer slide.

Understanding summer slide

So what exactly is summer slide? 

Summer slide is the regression in learning that students experience during the long summer break. That is, without regularly reinforcing their skills, children can forget important lessons and concepts. Consequently, they may have difficulties catching up when the new school year begins. Moreover, this learning loss can be particularly noticeable in subjects like math and reading.

For instance, an early study found that summer learning loss was worst in math and spelling.

Meanwhile, a more recent study found that, on average, students between third and fifth grade lost around 20% of their reading gains, and 27% of their gains in math over summer vacation.

Evidently, addressing summer slide is crucial for maintaining academic progress and preparing children for the upcoming school year.

Generally, research shows that students who engage in educational activities during the summer are more likely to retain knowledge and skills. As a result, they have a head start when they return to school.

For example, one study found that participation in summer learning programs helped students with their math and reading gains and learning outcomes. 

One of the ways students can sustain their learning progress over the summer is through utilizing educational apps for engaging and informative activities. 

Benefits of educational apps

Educational apps offer a cost-effective and convenient solution to the age-old problem of summer slide. Below are specific benefits of incorporating these digital tools into kids’ summer routines:

Personalized learning

Many educational apps use adaptive learning technology to tailor lessons to each child’s unique needs and pace, ensuring a customized learning experience.

Engagement and motivation

Interactive elements, games, and rewards within these apps make learning fun and engaging, motivating children to continue their educational journey even during summer vacation.

Accessibility and conveniencebenefits of educational apps

With educational apps, learning can happen anytime and anywhere. Whether on a road trip or in the backyard, children can access valuable learning resources right from their devices. This is not only convenient for the kids, but the parents, too. By using online resources, parents can save both money and time with zero need for transportation or coordination. 

Additionally, many platforms, apps, and softwares may present content in multiple ways, offer engaging visuals, and take advantage of technological developments to be more accessible to students with disabilities.

Addressing learning gaps

These apps can help identify and address specific learning gaps, providing targeted practice in areas where a child may need extra support.

Age-appropriate educational apps

Below, find our curated list of educational apps that cater to different age groups in order to ensure that every child finds something that suits their level and interests:

Preschool (ages 2-5)

  1. ABCmouse ($$): Offers a full curriculum with over 850 lessons and more than 10,000 learning activities across various subjects. On this platform, interactive games and stories make learning a joy for young kids. Additionally, students can access this program both online and offline.Gr
  2. Khan Academy Kids (free): Provides engaging early learning activities and educational games designed to foster curiosity and a love for learning.

Elementary school (ages 6-10)

  1. Prodigy Math ($ – $$): This app turns math practice into an exciting adventure game, helping children develop strong math skills through play.
  2. Epic! ($$): A digital library that provides access to thousands of books, audiobooks, and educational videos to enhance reading skills and knowledge.

Middle school (ages 11-13)

  1. Duolingo (free): A language-learning app that offers courses in numerous languages. This platform provides a fun and easy simple for middle schoolers to learn and practice a new language.
  2. Tynker ($$ – $$$): Encourages kids to learn coding through interactive lessons and projects, preparing them for future tech-savvy careers.

High school (ages 14-18)

  1. Quizlet ($): Helps students improve their study habits with flashcards and study modes across a wide range of subjects.
  2. Coursera (free – $$$): Offers online courses from top universities and companies, providing high school students with advanced learning opportunities in various fields.

All ages

  1. BrainPOP ($$$): Features animated educational videos on a wide range of topics, along with quizzes and activities to reinforce learning.
  2. Google Arts & Culture (free): Allows exploration of artworks, cultural artifacts, and virtual museum tours. This app helps with fostering an appreciation for history and the arts.

Tips for effectively using educational apps

While educational apps are incredibly useful, maximizing their impact requires thoughtful integration into a child’s routine. 

Here are some tips to help you make the most of these digital tools:

Set a schedule

Designate specific times for using educational apps to create a balanced routine that includes both learning and play. tips for using educational apps

Monitor progress with educational apps

Regularly check your child’s progress within the apps to understand their strengths and areas needing improvement.

Encourage discussion about educational app content

Engage with your child by discussing what they’ve learned and encouraging them to share new knowledge and skills. Incorporate concepts into day-to-day activities, such as talking about metric measurements and conversions while cooking or baking.

Balance screen time

Ensure a healthy balance between screen time and other activities like outdoor play, reading physical books, and family time.

Use reward features on educational apps

Provide support and recognize achievements within the apps to motivate continuous learning and development.

Final thoughts

Combating summer slide doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By integrating educational apps into your child’s summer routine, you can ensure they stay engaged, motivated, and ready for the upcoming school year without making learning feel like work. 

These tools are not only convenient and cost-effective, but also foster personalized and interactive learning experiences to make education enjoyable and effective.

We encourage you to explore the recommended apps and find the ones that best suit your child’s needs. Make this summer an exciting time for growth and learning. Remember to share your experiences and any tips in the comments. Together, we can make a difference in our children’s educational journeys!