Summertime is a time for fun in the sun, but it can also be a time for learning. Many children lose some of their academic skills taught during the school year over the summer break. This is known as summer learning loss. Loss of the critical skills learned during the school year may set your child back when the new school starts if there is no continuing academic or developmental progress sought in the summertime.
However, there are ways to prevent this from happening. There are some fun, educational activities that your child can do over the summer to keep them learning and progressing.
Here are some ways you can prevent summer learning loss in your child.
1. Create a summer learning plan.
Sit down with your child and create a summer learning plan together. This can be a simple list of goals or objectives that they would like to achieve over the course of the summer.
If your child is struggling in a particular subject, you may want to focus on creating goals that will help them improve in that area. For example, if they are having trouble with math, you could set a goal for them to practice their addition and subtraction facts for 20 minutes each day.
It’s important to make sure that the goals you set are realistic and achievable. You don’t want your child to become overwhelmed or discouraged if they are unable to meet their goals. You also want to allow your child plenty of free time to play and enjoy their break from school. A day-long lesson is not necessary to help your child maintain skills.
Once you have created the plan, help your child to stick to it by setting aside time each day for them to work on their goals. You may even want to create a reward system for when they reach certain milestones.
2. Get your child involved in summer reading programs.
Encourage your child to read for pleasure this summer by signing them up for a local library’s summer reading program. Research has shown that students who participate in these programs retain more of their reading skills over the summer break than those who do not participate.
If your child is struggling with reading, consider finding a program that offers incentives for completing books or reaching certain milestones. This will help keep them motivated and engaged in their reading over the summer months.
Some libraries also offer other types of educational programming, such as STEM activities or field trips. These can be great ways to supplement your child’s learning over the summer and prevent them from experiencing boredom or burnout.
3. Find educational activities that are also fun.
One of the best ways to prevent summer learning loss is to find activities that are both educational and fun. This will help keep your child engaged in their learning and prevent them from getting bored and uncooperative. You can make learning interesting, like when studying the human anatomy, you can use colorful workbooks that appropriately explain human anatomy for kids. Educational programming shows and movies can also be fun ways for your child to retain information.
There are many other different types of educational activities that you can do with your child. You could visit a local museum or take a nature hike and talk about the different plants and animals that you see. You could also play games that focus on specific skills, such as spelling or math facts.
You can also use everyday activities as opportunities for learning. For example, when you’re cooking dinner together, have your child help measure the ingredients and talk about what fractions they are using.
4. Encourage a growth mindset.
One of the best ways to prevent summer learning loss is to encourage a growth mindset in your child. This means helping them to understand that their intelligence is not fixed and that they can improve with effort and practice.
There are many different ways that you can encourage a growth mindset in your child. One way is to praise their effort and progress, rather than simply telling them that they are smart. For example, if they are practicing their math facts and make a mistake, you could say, “That’s okay! Keep trying, and you’ll get it eventually.”
You can also help them to set realistic goals and celebrate their accomplishments along the way. This will show them that they are capable of achieving anything they set their mind to.
Finally, model a growth mindset yourself! Let your child see you making mistakes and continuing to work hard despite setbacks. This will help them to understand that everyone experiences difficulties and that it’s okay to make mistakes.