Although summer break is a time for fun, family and friends, it should not be forgotten that two months can be a long break from learning. So it’s not surprising that students lose some of what they’ve spent their school year learning over the summer break.
Research has even demonstrated that a non-academic summer can cause students at every grade level to digress 1-3 months in their academic skills, with their math and reading skills taking the greatest toll (Atteberry & McEachin, 2016). This phenomenon is often referred to as “the summer learning loss.”
To avoid this phenomenon and to ensure that your kids start their upcoming school year with little to no academic loss, here are some tips to keep your kids engaged in learning over the summer break.
Reading over the Summer
Reading is one of the easiest ways to keep your child’s mind engaged over the summer break.
Ways to incorporate reading into your summer break:
- Spend 1-2 hours at the local library or set a couple hours a day (with no distractions) for your kids to read
- For younger children, parents are often advised to read to them as much as possible as it will boost their literacy development
- It’s also advised to read a chapter in the morning, when your child is used to learning
- Reading in the morning is often very effective, as plans later on in the day can become a source of distraction
- Allow your kids to choose books that their interested as this will make reading a more enjoyable experience for them
- But do try to make sure the books are of an educational background
Develop Math Skills
If not practiced daily, your child’s math skills can easily become rusty. Have your child complete 3-4 math problems a day so that they can preserve what they learned during the previous school year and be ready for the upcoming term. For kids with siblings, have them compete with mental math problems, this will keep their minds engaged in a competitive setting. Click here to find more details regarding our Math classes.
Improve Reading Comprehension Skills
It’s important to make sure that your children understand what they’re reading. Actively ask them questions regarding the material they have read to ensure they actually understand what they are reading. Reading comprehension workbooks are also a good way to assess if your child is lacking in this skill.
Review and Build Grammar Skills
Introduce words of the day to your children. With every day introduce a new word and its definition and have your child correctly use the word as many times as they can throughout the day. Getting your child to actively use the new word will help them both remember the word and get a better understanding of the context the word can be used in.
encourage your kids to make daily journal entries of their summer experiences and give them the freedom to be as creative as they want. Also encourage them to be expressive by replacing common words with more interesting words. Doing so will not only keep your child’s reading and writing skills sharp, but will also help them expand their vocabulary.
Take your kids (and their friends) to visit museums. Be it a museum for arts, history or science, take them to a museum that showcases the things your kids are interested in. Other educational field trips could also include a trip to the zoo or aquarium. These educational excursions will broaden your child’s knowledge base.
It’s very common for kids now a days to spend a majority of their time watching TV or playing on their electronic devices. So as parents instead of trying to limit or ban their play time, which will sometimes make them more rebellious, try to introduce them to educational TV shows, videos, apps and computer games. This will allow them to learn while still having fun.