Embracing Summer Slide: Getting Dumber by 1/3 with My Kids


This spring, when local Vermont writer, Kimberly Harrington’s, epic and infamous post, Are You Sure There Isn’t Something Else I Can Do Before The End of the School Year?, began to make the rounds on all the social media platforms, I was smacked upside the head by one line in particular.

Kimberly Harrington, Are You Sure There Isn’t Something Else I Can Do Before The End of the School Year?

I heard a chorus of angels singing around me (or maybe it was noon and that was just the church bells down the street?) Either way, I was inspired. I was like, ‘Heck yeah, let’s do this!’

Summer slide, here we come! There will be absolutely no learning for us. You can catch us at the lake, eating junk food, running around like feral monkeys, and getting dumber by 1/3rd, too.

Then I saw an advertisement for a FREE “Learn to Swim” program at our town pool. Sign us up!

Don’t give me that look. I said free, guys. Plus, learning to swim, that’s not really learning, ya know. It’s more like acquiring a new life skill, right? Right.

Julie's kids embrace the summer slide!

We’re fine, it’s fine. We’re still summer sliding – I promise.

Then we decided to buy family season passes at the Killington Adventure Center.

I mean, the Vermonters deal was so good, that we practically had to buy them. We’ll do the ropes course and the trampoline/bungee jump. Nothing educational at all. Just physical.

It’s not like there’s a subject in school specifically centered around improving and assessing your physical aptitude, anyway.

Besides, you can be athletic and dumb. I can give you plenty of real-world examples (have you seen Travis Kelce’s tweets??) Just sayin’.

Then we signed up to host two kid-friendly hikes each week for friends.

If we’re not learning, we’ve got to keep busy, somehow. Why not hike? What could be less educational, am-I-right?

Julie and her kids embrace the summer slide.

Just, run and jump off of rocks and stuff. Try not to get hurt, though. I definitely don’t want to teach you anything about first aid or nature or anything. That’d be a total drag.

We won’t talk about anything educational. I promise. Strictly fun; no learning. I won’t point out the different types of plants, trees, or wild animals. We definitely won’t talk about basic navigation, orienteering, or tracking.

There is no learning going on out here in nature. You can catch us getting dumber by 1/3rd.

Then I was invited to an Usborne Books & More Party.

There’s no harm in attending, right? I’ll just look. I won’t buy. I definitely won’t read. I got this.

Oh, look! New releases!

OH LOOK! A NEW READING SERIES. My older son, Luke, is starting to read his level 1 books at night before bed. It won’t hurt to get one new book.

Or six.


Then a friend posted an epic ABC Mouse hack (I mean deal) on Facebook.

Wait a minute (double take, double take, double take). Did I just read that correctly?

A year subscription to ABC Mouse for $29.99??? That’s like, $2.50 a month.

All I have to do is sign up for the free month. Then when I cancel my account, select ‘price’ as the reason and they will offer me a year for $29.99? Well, sign me up!

KIDS! Who wants to try ABC Mouse?

Oh, you both do?

Oh, you love it?


I’m not going to force you or anything… but if you wanted to do an hour (give or take 5) a day, I could totally help you by providing the tablet and quiet space to focus. Only if you want to, though, of course.

Wink. Wink.

Sorry, kids. Looks like you’re not going to be able to get dumber by 1/3rd this summer. No fun for you two. We’re just going to learn, learn, learn. Sorry, your mommy is crazy.

Looking for ways to keep your kiddos busy this summer? Check out our Ultimate Vermont Summer Guide: 90+ Activities for Summer Fun! and our Vermont Summer Bucket List: Find Your Green Mountain Adventure!

If you do plan to embrace the summer slide, try having an Analog Summer: Reliving An Old Fashioned Summer with Our Kids! and Just Say NO to the Summer Bucket List!

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Embracing the Summer Slide: Getting Dumber by 1/3 with My Kids

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Julie McNulty
Julie and her husband, Mike, were both born and raised in Southern New Jersey, but recently relocated to Vermont. Though new to the Green Mountain State, it already feels like home and they love the swimming, hiking, and skiing. Julie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Theology. She spent the past ten years working with kids and teens but, these days, she's a part-time work from home/full-time homeschooling mom to her crazy boys, Luke- 7 and Liam- 6. Julie enjoys reading big books, writing witty blog posts, cooking new recipes, indulging in celebrity gossip, watching trashy reality TV, and doing anything outdoors with her kids and husband. You can follow her adventures on Instagram, @ur_basic_mom instead, and you can check out her content strategy and marketing business, Writes Well with Others.


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