Is summer learning loss real?
The RAND Corporation, in a report, has highlighted that kids can lose up to a month of learning during summer. As per NSLA, these summer losses add up, and by fifth grade, they could leave students 2 ½ to 3 years behind their peers. All in all, statistics say, kids need to study even during the summer.
Howbeit, you can’t force kids to study during summer. The summer vacation is that special break that they have been looking for all year. It’s their time to relax and have fun.
Luckily, summer learning doesn’t have to be all worksheets and curriculum. All you need are a few activities that help keep their brains active. Here we list 10 most effective summer learning activities for your kids. These activities would challenge them to use their language, math, and science skills, and enjoy the vacation.
10 Summer learning activities every parent should know
Encourage your kids to write stories. Design a cool writer’s cap, and ask them to write a story – First a rough draft, then the final one. You may have to play the role of an editor. Help them go over their drafts for grammar and spelling errors. Story writing would help them better their grammar, vocabulary, and sentence formation skills.
First, arrange a library card for your kids. Then, prepare a list of books that you want them to read this summer. Especially, stock up on those story books.
Once you have the books, have regular reading sessions with your kids. Reading aloud helps build their language skills, and it helps improve their confidence too. This one activity alone could help your kids develop excellent grammar and writing skills.
Quick Tip: If you are not sure with the books, talk to their teachers.
A mere notebook won’t do. You must design it to be fun. Ask them to write the new words they read, and find out what they mean. This would help your kids develop vocabulary skills, and it would teach them how to use a dictionary.
Few words of caution – Kids hate vocabulary exercises, so be as creative as possible.
Family Outings – Single day trips
Take your kids to the nearest zoo, the museum, or a nearby science laboratory. Even a visit to the bank, airport or hospital can be turned into a learning experience.
Just remember, once you return, they need to note their experiences in a notebook.
Quick Tip: These experiences can become excellent story prompts.
Family Outings – Long vacations
Kids love traveling. There is an explorer inside your kids – it never sleeps, and it loves learning. Let it breath free. Arrange for an educational excursion- a vacation for the family, and an exploration trip for your kids.
Talk with your kids, and consider their choices.
Quick Tip: A travel journal is a must. Help your kids create one. Check it regularly, and ensure that they update it routinely.
Classroom-learning is just the first step; kids must also learn to apply themselves in real life. And summer is their best chance to do it.
With an engaging summer project, your kids can develop new skills, and make sense of their text books. Encourage them to take novel projects like, constructing a tree house, or making a wooden chair, or plant a garden.
Quick Tip: If you are out of ideas – visit Wikihow. It’s a great bank of DIY (do it yourself) activities with guidelines and steps to follow.
Wikipedia is one of the largest sources for information. Make it compulsory for your kids to read Wikipedia every day. Let them explore the Wikis on their own; it would help them link with the topics of their interest. Your only job is to ensure that they make a note of everything they explore in a journal.
Fun summer classes
Summer vacation is a great time to develop non- academic skills. Enroll your kids to learn a new language, sketching, swimming, painting, music, or any other subject that attracts them. The experience would help them understand their skills, and develop their sense of choice.
Look at the exam results, and find out the subjects that your kids need help with. Consult their teachers, ask for summer homework.
If necessary, enroll your kids to a summer learning program. You can select, either, an online summer program, or a summer school. Howbeit, monitor their progress, and ensure that kids spend time learning their subjects.
As we wrote earlier, a three-month break can be precarious. Kids may hate you for it, but maintaining the study habit is necessary.
Most Important- Let kids play
Maria Montessori has rightly quoted, “Play is the work of the child.”
Kids learn the most by playing. Let them explore the world on their own. This unstructured, unguided activity has always been their best tool for learning.
The challenges they set, the mistakes they make, and the experiences they thus collect, matter the most. Playtime time is the best summer learning activity. Just let them enjoy their time.
We hope that you find a use for these activities, and they help you create a fun-filled summer learning experience for your kids.
Feel free to let us know, if you want to share your own list of summer learning activities. We’d love to publish your thoughts as a guest post.