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Dominion Blog

Avoid the Summer Slide: Tips For Keeping Kids Learning

Posted by Mary Ellen Bricker on Jul 11, 2019 10:30:00 AM

In The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame writes about Mole’s summer vacation:

This day was only the first of many similar ones for the emancipated Mole, each of them longer and full of interest as the ripening summer moved onward. He learnt to swim and to row, and entered the joy of running water; and with his ear to the reed-stems he caught, at intervals, something of what the wind went whispering so constantly among them.


Wind in the Willows


Another wonderful school year full of joy and growth has come to an end for students across the Nation, so it is time to think about how to engage students during the long break from school. As a Lower School faculty, we would like to encourage students to work on the following academic skills over the summer.

Just as Mole learned while he played, our wish for your child’s summer is a rich time where work and play, learning, and leisure are delightfully entwined!

Math Facts

The Math in Focus curriculum works with the assumption that students have memorized all math facts (appropriate for their grade level) with deep fluency. Therefore, it is essential for your child to know his or her simple math facts inside and out. Automaticity with math facts is necessary for a strong number sense and understanding math concepts during the school year and beyond.

  • Rising 1st: Addition and subtraction facts through 10 with emphasis on pairs of ten.
  • Rising 2nd: Addition and subtraction facts through 20, multiplication table through 5.
  • Rising 3rd-6th: Addition and subtraction facts through 20, multiplication table through 12



Students in kindergarten through fifth grade should be reading daily at the appropriate reading level. If you are able to go to the library, let your child choose some books for themselves that they enjoy. I know that I used to be frustrated that one of my daughters only chose Junie B. Jones books, but now that I look back, I am thankful she was reading. The most important thing is that children fall in love with reading. Many boys like books that are full of facts about dinosaurs, war, animals, and so on. Let them choose some and then you can choose some beautiful works to set before them, too.


If you are concerned about reading levels for your children, there are places online where you can type in a title and it will give you a reading level. So for instance, Mouse Tales by Lobel is a 3.0 or third-grade level book. The website I use is Accelerated Reader. Scholastic has a similar tool for parents and teachers.

Curious about our summer reading list for grades K-6? You can find it HERE. This list contains some good-quality selections for children of all ages. If you have children ranging from ages 8-11, check out another blog post, Top Ten Summer Reads for Ten-Year-Olds.

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Topics: Reading, Academics, Summer