Summer vacation is in full swing at our house. But don’t get too comfortable. Studies have shown that children demonstrate learning loss over the summer months across academic subjects, especially math and reading. For example, at the start of the school year, children perform on average two and a half months worse than they did at the end of the prior school year in math. That’s a lot of loss!
Wouldn’t it be great if we could help our kids start the school year at or above the level they were at when summer began? Well the good news is that as parents we can help them! Just try some of these tips to keep your children learning all summer long:
- Encourage your child to read. Designate either a set amount of time or specific number of pages that they must complete each day and stick to it. Let them select their own age-appropriate books, even offer rewards if you have to, just keep them reading!
- Have your child keep a journal or diary of their summer activities or vacation. The journal can include pictures or drawings, as well as captions or stories that tell about what they did on their vacation. Let their imagination run wild, as this project will truly help their writing and artistic skills stay on target for the coming school year.
- Include math instruction in your daily activities throughout the year, but especially in the summer months. Have your child help you cook in the kitchen. Include them in your grocery shopping and coupon clipping. Have them keep up with the miles you’ve traveled on vacation. Make math fun and show them how important it is in our day to day lives.
- Plan some outings that are both entertaining and educational. Spend the afternoon at the library checking out books that interest your kids. Go to the museum or the zoo, or visit a science center or aquarium. Your kids will love these types of activities, and will learn something at the same time!
- Find workbooks at your local bookstore that are geared towards summer learning. If you think your child would benefit from this type of structured at home activity, then purchase one that is at their grade level, and use it as directed. There are also countless educational websites that offer free learning games that your child can play all summer long.
- Enroll your child in summer programs and camps that include healthy doses of both fun and learning. From science camps to art programs, and everything in between, your child will surely have a blast while keeping their academic skills sharp.
What advice do you have for keeping your kids learning during the summer? Please share your ideas below. I know through these long summer months I can use all the help I can get!