Spring break is over and summer is around the corner. Hooray! But even though school may not be in session, it doesn’t mean that learning should stop. Instead, learning may look different: the whole world can become your child’s classroom.
Teachers often talk about the “summer slide,” where students lose the knowledge they’ve learned over the course of a school year. Research supports this: most students lose about two months of the math skills they’ve learned over the school year during the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months of reading skills, while their middle-class peers make slight gains.*
The effects of summer learning on the achievement gap is shocking: more than half of the gap between lower-income and higher-income students can be attributed to unequal access to summer learning opportunities. Reading about this discrepancy inspired me to donate Curiosity Packs to kids in need this summer. Help to increase summer learning opportunities for ALL children by donating to our campaign.
How can you make sure that your child has a fun AND educational summer? Follow these suggestions:
One of the best ways to raise a fluent reader is to get kids to see reading as a desirable leisure time activity. Summer is the perfect time for kids to indulge in any kind of reading material they want (books, graphic novels, comics, magazines, etc.). Most libraries have great summer reading programs that kids can participate in and earn a range of fun prices. Take advantage of them!
Is your child really into bugs? Make summer the time to dive into learning about all kinds of bugs. Go outside and have your child draw all the bugs he finds, then research more about each kind of bug. Is your child obsessed with trains? Take her on a variety of different trains this summer and ask her to compare and contrast the features of each one. Whatever your child’s interests, find ways to incorporate them into summer learning.
Don’t Forget Math
As we mentioned, most kids lose math skills over the summer. It’s not hard to see why — it can be easier for parents read with their children and push them to explore their interests. But you can include more math in your child’s life with little effort. Start by talking about the math you use in your everyday life (comparison shopping, making change, etc.), then have your child use math whenever possible (counting how many objects he has, doubling a recipe, etc.). Follow these tips for teaching kids to love math, even when you may not.
Personalized Learning Plan
If you want to maximize summer learning, you can also donate to our Kickstarter campaign and have me come up with a personalized learning plan for your child. We’ll chat about your child’s interests, strengths, and needs, then I’ll come up with a packet of activities and suggestions for your child to work on this summer. We can even check in mid-way through the summer and adjust!
The most effective learning happens in comfortable, engaged situations. Summer can be a great time to come together with your child to learn and explore together. Here’s to a summer of adventure and learning!