How to avoid ‘summer learning loss’ while having fun in the holidays
Here at Kenni’s Korner we want to see your kids happy! Summer should be a time of adventure and making memories, right? But how do we do this and avoid the dreaded ‘summer learning loss?’ Don't worry, we have some expert tips on how to hold on to the progress made in this past school year. All without spoiling the summer vacation fun.
What is ‘summer learning loss?’
Summer learning loss, also called the ‘summer slide’ (no, not the fun kind!) is when kids lose some of their academic skills over the holidays because they haven’t been using them. Studies show that if this happens, they could start the new term at a disadvantage. Sounds scary right? Don’t worry, follow these tips and things will be A-OK and you’ll still have a fun-filled summer break.
Which activities can we do to avoid the summer learning loss?
There are so many ways to use academic skills that don’tinvolve sitting at a table and trying to get bored kids to learn. Look for opportunities to learn in the everyday things that you do. For example:
· Bake together - cookies and yummy treats will always be popular. Popsicles and ice cream will be even more fun to make on a hot day. Remember to talk about measurements, weight, and get the kids as involved as possible.
· For younger kids count steps when you are out and about, or even when walking up the stairs in your home. It doesn’thave to be limited to steps – count trees in the forest or cars on a long journey. Look for numbers in the street and get younger kids to try to read street signs.
· Get your kids to read to you as much as possible. Aim for at least a couple of times a week. If this is proving difficult, then you can read to them – but make sure that they can see the words that you read.
· Write a postcard or letter. You don’t even have to be on vacation – send some from your hometown to friends and family who live far away. Even better would be a pen pal, someone that will write back. Handwritten letters are always more exciting to receive than emails. Find a pen pal for your child here: https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/find-pen-pal-for-your-child?currency=USD
· Play I-spy to help younger kids with spelling and learning the first sound in a word. This is a great game to play in the car or when waiting around somewhere.
· Look out for reading challenges either online or run by your local library or bookstore.
· Sign your kids up to a magazine subscription. Choose something educational and interesting that will encourage them to learn. Check out this awesome list of magazine subscriptions: https://www.scarymommy.com/best-magazines-for-kids/
Great apps and websites for learning
Let’s get real for a moment. As parents we have things to get done and jobs to do, and that’s totally fine! We all need downtime, and this goes for kids too. There are some great educational apps and websites that the kids can play on. This will give you time to catch up on chores or finally take some time for yourself.
If you don’t want your kids using screens or you don’t have access to them, why not try printed activities? There are so many puzzle books, word searches and activity books to buy. Head over to your local bookstore or jump onto Amazon to find some.
Educational trips out
How to avoid ‘summer learning loss’ while havingfun in the holidaysThe local museum, zoo, art gallery or library is a great place to visit to further your child’s education. There are some interesting places to learn and have fun at the same time. Take lunch and make a day of it. If you can afford it, sign up for the guided tour, buy the booklet or just learn all about the places you visit online.
Despite the popular saying, everyday does not have to be a school day. Don’t think that you have to teach your kids full time through the summer break. A few minutes as often as possible will be enough. Look for opportunities and don’tforce it if it isn’t working - go with the kids’ interests.
From everyone at Kenni's Korner - have an awesome summer!