WAYS TO PREVENT SUMMER SLIDEYears of educational research has shown that kids experience significant learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. We encourage all parents to engage your kids in consistent reading, writing, and math activities throughout the summer so they return to school ahead of where they are now, rather than behind.

Here are a few free online learning programs that you and your children can explore to learn new things and return to school ahead of where they are now. Make it fun! Ask your child which of these tools she already likes using, and which ones new she wants to try. Provide some structure to make sure he reviews the essentials and learns new things, but also provide some freedom for him to explore areas of interest to him.

TenMarks Summer Math Program is a free and fun way to reverse summer learning loss in 60 
minutes a week. It starts with a brief diagnostic assessment, then TenMarks creates a personalized curriculum for your child to review past concepts and introduce new ones with videos, hints, and interactive quizzes. TenMarks will be new to most students and is a fun way to learn new math and monitor progress over the summer. You can sign your children up using your email address, then your child can log in.

IXL is great for reviewing past concepts and previewing new ones with interactive questions. Your child should already have an IXL username and password that he or she can continue to use over the summer, and is likely familiar with the site. Go to to sign in; most students’ usernames are their first initial+last name.

CK-12 Brain Flex is a free summer program with engaging math and science lessons, activities, and progress monitoring. CK-12 has lots of interesting interactive exercises for students to manipulate variables and reach their own conclusions. Parents can sign up as your kid’s coach, or students can take the lead and choose what they want to learn. Many of our high school math teachers use CK-12 so it may be familiar to your child.

Khan Academy has free instructional videos, interactives, and quizzes that teach just about everything, but lots of our students have loved the computer science and coding lessons in particular. Your child may already have a Khan Academy account, but if not, he can create a free account and choose what he wants to learn over summer. You can also register as your child’s coach so you can recommend topics and monitor progress.

After checking out some new books from your local library, you may want to motivate your child to read by participating in a summer reading challenge. Check with your school to find out if they have a summer reading program established, and if not, consider signing up for the free Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Your child can set reading goals, keep track of how much she reads each day, and earn rewards. Consistency is the key to summer reading, and this Challenge can help make reading a daily routine with visible results.

Encourage your child to blog about his summer adventures on, using his rfschools Google account to log in. Or create beautifully illustrated stories, poems, or books using

If your high school student wants a free taste of what college classes are really like, encourage her to sign up for a free online course from Harvard, Stanford, Duke or another elite university at Coursera or EdX. You can sign up for a course, check it out, and then decide whether to do all the work to earn a certificate of completion or just survey the course to see what it’s like. Try an introductory course in an area of interest and see if you can handle college-level coursework this summer!



Safe Social Media Practices - posted April 2015

Screen Time - posted March 2015

Cyberbullying - posted December 2014


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