With the summer in full swing, we are all adjusting to a new, more relaxed schedule with school no longer in session. Although play, relaxation and a sense of togetherness should be prioritized during the summer months, learning loss can be detrimental to your child as they embark on their next school year in the coming months. The good news? There are various ways to keep your child learning and thriving throughout the summer with a few simple and effective strategies. Implementing these ideas into your summer schedule to keep your child on track for the upcoming school year.
Set time aside for learning.
During the summer there is more time for everything, including learning. With more flexibility in your schedule, it is imperative that you set time aside each day that specifically focuses on educating your child on a particular topic or subject. Add it to your calendar, make it fun and engaging and keep track of your child’s progress. Whether you have 15, 30, or 60 minutes of time dedicated to learning, your child will be ready to tackle the school year ahead. Allow your child to take ownership of the process by helping them build out a fun calendar and come up with lesson plan ideas. Don’t feel the need to fit in learning every single day, but aim to work on things at least 4 times a week. Timing is everything and a little bit of time each day will amount to big leaps in their learning and overall growth.
Focus on their strengths and weaknesses.
When deciding exactly what subjects to focus on this summer, consider what their strengths and weaknesses were throughout the school year. Make a list of both and incorporate them into your schedule. Although a majority of the focus and efforts should be placed on areas where they could use extra help and improvement, including their stronger subjects makes them feel empowered to tackle the hard subjects. Tap into free online resources or pick up a few different workbooks at your local bookstore. Most are dedicated to bridging the gap between grades or cover a specific subject based on grade level.
Read, read, read.
Did you know that owning your own books matters? It has been said that children who have a home library of age-appropriate books are more likely to succeed in their grade based on the time spent reading. On top of that, children who read daily add between 4,000 and 12,000 words a year to their vocabulary. Reading is important all year around, but especially encouraged during the summer months when things become more leisurely. Share your love of reading with your child and set time aside every day for quiet reading time. Whether you read to them, they read to you or you share the reading time, it’s a skill that keeps on giving and a foundational element to their educational successes for the future.
Your child is much more likely to want to learn new things if you are excited and involved in the process. Try to be part of their learning experience during the summer as much as possible. Sit by them when they’re completing independent work, share stories, work through difficult math problems together and celebrate learning milestones. Your involvement matters.
Whether it’s creative writing or whimsical storytelling, having your child work on creative pieces fosters their written and oral language skills by tapping into all the realms of their own imagination. Consider having them spend 15 minutes each week writing a creative piece about the week they just had, or a goal they’d love to achieve during the summer. Encourage them to use their imagination to add big details to their story. Bonus points if they include creative artwork alongside their pieces.
By spending some time during the summer focusing on educational bridging, you are helping your child strengthen and improve their overall skills. Summer learning should be both challenging and fun, stimulating their passion for learning while expanding their imagination, discipline and self-esteem.