Summertime means sun and fun, making it the perfect time for learning to come alive!
But as parents, we know it isn’t always easy to keep children engaged during the break. Here are five simple ideas to help your child stride forward this summer.
See the big picture.
This is an important time to find out how prepared your child is for the next grade. Look at your child’s grades, pay attention to how easy or hard it is for your child to perform grade level tasks, and review his or her annual state test results you’ll receive this summer. Compare this information to see where your child is doing well and where more support is needed. By doing this now, you’ll be prepared to share this insight with your child’s new teacher.
One of the best parts of summer is having a little extra family time. This is a great chance to have fun, play, and explore your child’s interests to create powerful learning moments. For example, if your child loves soccer, start a family tradition of figuring out the percentage of goals blocked or passes completed (there’s a lot of math in every sport)! If your child has a special collection of something they’re interested in (whether it be rocks or dolls), ask them to compare the differences and similarities of each item.
You can turn almost any part of your daily routine into a fun game that helps spark the love of learning.
Discover your community.
Learning can be most meaningful when we discover it in the real world! Check out free community or library programs that have academic support and activities for children. Visit a zoo or museum to explore new interests. Plan a day trip—find a nearby park or historical place you’ve never been to and talk about what you want to learn during your visit. Even a short road trip adventure—whether by car, bus or train—can be an exciting way to learn and bond as a family.
Support life skills.
Encourage life skills that help your child in school and the real world. For example, talk to your child about how our actions affect us and those around us. Promote a ‘growth mindset’—which is when children understand that they can learn more through hard work. This will help your child take on challenges with confidence—whether it’s trying a new hobby or working on a specific skill like reading.
Let them see you learn, too!
You are your child’s most important role model. You can set a great example by allowing your child to see you learning and working hard to achieve your goals, especially when it’s tough. Whether you are reading the news and talking about what’s happening in the world or looking up information on a new topic—you are modeling how learning is an amazing part of life!
What is the Summer Slide?
Every summer, too many children lose two to three months in reading and math skills. This is what is known as the “summer slide”— when kids fall behind in school over the summer break.
At the start of each school year, teachers have to use valuable time re-teaching what students knew at the end of the previous year, but forgot over the summer. In a National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) survey, two-thirds of teachers polled reported they spend at least three to four weeks re-teaching material at the beginning of each school year.
These reading and math losses add up. By fifth grade, summer learning loss can leave many students 2 1/2 to 3 years behind their peers.
For more information, visit summerlearning.org.Learn More »
Share your summer learning tips with other parents and get ideas too, using #bealearninghero.
Join the National Summer Learning Day celebration on July 13th with the hashtag #KeepKidsLearning.