10 Ways to Include Summer Learning During the School Break
As summer approaches, most kids are looking forward to spending more time with friends and family, and maybe some road trips, late nights, camping, amusement parks, and sand between the toes.
But what about summer learning? Studies show that children who do not make time for summer learning will lose a great deal of academic knowledge—from the last year of school and past years.
Summer Learning Loss is a significant problem, especially for low-income students. According to the National Summer Learning Association, low-income students may lose two or three months of reading skills over the summer, while kids from all incomes are likely to lose as much as two months of math skills. It can take up to two to three months from the first day of school for students to get back on track.
Here are ten ways you can help your students prevent this summer slide and put them ahead of their peers for the next school year.
1. Surprise Adventures
Historic battlefields, renaissance festivals, lighthouses, working ranches, and museums are all educational places to take your children during the summer. Look for interactive destinations that provide new information your children can learn while having fun.
2. Summer Learning Events
National Summer Learning Day is July 13, 2017. More than 34 states and 110 cities are participating in this event. Summer Learning Day will include a variety of events such as book challenges, reading clubs, youth summer camps, and more. Look for events in your neighborhood to take part in.
3. Learning with Smart Phone Apps
Story Bird is a great new application and online program that allows children to write their own stories via provided pictures. This app is an excellent way for students to expand their vocabulary and writing skills throughout the summer. Explore the Apple or Android App store for more.
4. Visit a Local Library
There are so many different and fun activities that local libraries offer during the summer. Also, reading with your student is another great way to maintain reading skills. Consider starting a little book club with friends or family.
5. Cooking with Math
Cooking with your child is a great bonding activity, but it will also help reinforce math concepts. Learn how you can teach math and other skills with cooking and then try some new summer cooking recipes for your child this summer.
6. Summer School
Summer school can help your student learn subjects that may have been a struggle during the school year or it can give kids a head start on the new school year. Online summer school may be a convenient choice and allow your student to explore a new elective or maybe try a new language!
7. Summer Camps/Interactions
Summer camps and interacting with different people is a tremendous way for your child to make friends, learn social skills, and grow independently.
8. Supplemental Courses
Similar to summer school, taking supplemental courses can help cure the summer slide and the cries of “I’m bored.” There are plenty of fun courses that will allow them to grow as students through the summer. In addition to math and reading, courses on science, social studies, and other subjects are also available.
9. Make Time for Summer Learning
Set aside time for you student to work on academics during the summer break. Even just 15 to 30 minutes a day will do the trick. Try to include reading, math, science, and social studies.
10. Learn a New Word Every Day
When learning the new word, make sure students are able to spell it, use it in a sentence, and understand what it means. You can subscribe to a word-of-the-day email at Dictionary.com. Have fun as a family trying to use as many new words during the day as possible!
Cayman Ward is an intern at K12 and a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff. Cayman grew up in Northern Virginia and currently attends West Virginia University, where he is pursuing a degree in Business Management with a minor in Communications. He has enjoyed writing throughout his years in school and especially likes writing papers that involve research. After graduation, he plans on beginning his career in the corporate world and hopes to eventually start his own business. When not studying in college or working on his summer internship, Cayman enjoys spending time with family and friends, coaching, and participating in activities outdoors.