Summer is a time for students to relax and take a breather before the next school year. However, there is one major downside – summer learning loss. It happens every year and is preventable if the right actions are taken. The first step to prevention is understanding that summer learning loss is a real issue among students worldwide!
Summer learning loss occurs when students do not practice the skills they learned during the school year for several months over the summer. It can be difficult to encourage children to continue learning throughout the summer. To be fair, it is their designated time off. The good news is that preventing this learning loss doesn’t mean filling the summer with rigorous schoolwork. It only takes about two to three hours per week to help prevent the loss of learning over the summer. Learning over the summer doesn’t have to be boring! Here are some ways to help make learning fun and easy for your child during the summer season.
1. Create a Routine
Children may need assistance and support to stay motivated throughout the summer. One simple solution is to help your child develop a routine for learning. Depending on your child’s needs and learning style, they may prefer 30 minutes a day or two hours just twice a week. During this time, children should brush up on their math and reading skills. This is easier said than done. However, there are many ways to make learning significantly more fun!
2. Get Creative
Learning over the summer doesn’t have to be filled with textbook problems. There are so many ways to make learning exciting for kids. Incorporating art into educational activities is a way to make learning more fun. Have your child illustrate an image from a book they are reading. Visit a local museum and point out interesting facts. Visit the zoo and use the provided information to educate them on different animals. Create a scavenger hunt at your local park to look at the different plants and trees labeled along the trail. Keeping your child’s brain active and curious is the goal.
3. Don’t Forget About Math
Math can be the most difficult subject to keep your child engaged in over the summer. Children are more likely to lose math skills over the summer than reading skills. This is because many do not see math being relevant in life outside of the classroom. As a result, children struggle to recall previous lessons from the prior school year. To make math more relevant, incorporate it into running errands. Teach your child about discounts and percentages. This is one way to get your child thinking about numbers. Another fun way to practice math with your child over the summer is through games. Some examples for the entire family to enjoy together are Monopoly, Yahtzee, and Rummikub. Counting, categorizing, and creating sequences are fun and simple ways to keep the brain active all summer long.
4. Reading is Important
Did you know that 77% of kids agree that summer reading helps them feel prepared for the next school year? The recognition of the importance of summer reading is evident. Unfortunately, summer reading can still feel like a chore. One way to encourage your child to read is to use a reward system. For every few chapters they read, reward them with an activity they are interested in doing. If your child loves to swim, reward them with an hour at the pool! If your child is younger, reading aloud to them and having them follow along can help them learn and grow their vocabulary. Students who are older may need someone to discuss the plot with them. Try reading the same book with your child and having a weekly discussion about the plot! Children need guidance, especially when they lack a routine. By creating a list of expectations, you can more effectively hold them accountable for their summer reading.
5. Summer Programs Promote Growth
Summer time doesn’t always mean time off for parents. About 86% of fathers and 48% of mothers work full-time throughout the year. It can be difficult for busy parents to find time to guide their children through summer academics along with their regular work schedule. Summer programs can be a helpful resource to keep children engaged throughout the summer. Programs vary depending on location, but there are always several types of options available depending on parent and student needs. These programs offer activities that apply to all different types of learners. Parents can rest easy knowing their child is staying active and refreshed with all types of academic concepts.
While summer learning loss is a real issue for children, there are endless ways to prevent it. In order to make the transition back to school after summer break, parents should find ways to implement learning into the summer months. From enrolling your child in a summer program to playing math games, learning can be made fun. If you’re looking for a summer program for your child, visit www.ayskids.org/summer to learn about your local opportunities!