Did you know that kids can literally lose months of learning during the summer months? The average summer learning loss is over 2 months of grade level! Most teachers spend a significant amount of time RE-teaching material due to summer learning loss. Give your teachers a break, and your kid a leg up in the fall, by making sure the only slide your children experience is the one on the playground! Following are 10 ways to stop the summer learning slide that even the busiest of parents can manage!
Love your local library!
Many local libraries offer summer reading programs, book readings, scheduled arts and crafts events. We signed up for our local summer reading club and the kids are really enjoying checking out new books. I signed up for the adult summer reading club, too, because I think it's important to model what I expect of them! Even just fifteen minutes a day of reading can make a huge impact.
Be sure to carry a bag big enough for your haul!
Make it a point to visit places that you don't usually get to go during the school year, such as museums, the zoo, the aquarium, the local arboretum or botanical gardens, concerts and parks. Involve the kids in the planning of your outings by giving them maps, exhibit brochures, or letting them plan a scavenger hunt of things they might see.
Have some family fun and boost brain power by playing games together. A lot of board games encourage use of language and math skills, as well as critical thinking skills. Play charades, Monopoly, Clue, Battleship, Yahtzee, Boggle, or chess to keep their mind engaged.
Encourage spatial play and thinking!
Spend some time building a city with blocks, Lego Bricks, or Lincoln Logs. Have them help draw the plans for the city before you start. Help them create shapes with tangrams, put together a complex puzzle, or solve a Rubik's cube. Ask them spatial questions, like how to best fill the grocery bag.
Encourage them to write!
Whether keeping a journal about what they are doing, or answering silly questions, or creative story writing- a few sentences a day will go a long way toward giving their handwriting and language skills a workout. Ask them to write a paragraph about a topic a day.
Summer learning camps and VBS!
Check out the summer learning camps and vacation Bible school offerings in your area. We have a local “safety town” that our kids will be attending for two weeks. We also attend a local vacation Bible school.
Use car time as learning time!
Make the most of car time by encouraging listening to audio books, playing games such as the Alphabet game or I Spy, practicing spelling words, or asking critical thinking questions. Have multiple kids with multiple different tastes that results in car fights over the audio book or music? Give them LilGadgets headphones, they are perfect for long car rides or using with their tablets and learning apps so they don't annoy each other. LilGadgets are volume limiting (max volume 93db) and are passive noise reducing, so they don't need to crank the volume! AND they come in multiple different colors, so everyone can have their own color.
Make math a part of every day!
I'm not suggesting that you make your kid sit down and do math worksheet every day. Even simple tasks in the kitchen, like measuring ingredients for a recipe or having them help double the recipe, can keep their skills sharp. Have them tally the total as you grocery shop, or figure out how much change you should receive when you pay.
Learning workbooks, videos, apps, and websites
There will be days when your kids just doesn't want to go out to play. Stock up on learning workbooks and DVDs or scout out some learning videos on YouTube. Get a subscription to a learning website, like ABCMouse.com, where they can play learning games to practice their skills. Download some learning apps for them to play while you're out and about.
Find out what they need to know for the next school year, and focus on those new skills. Learning new skills often requires use of old ones. Invest in a good summer bridge workbook or find a ton of summer bridge activities on Pinterest.