Summer break is easily one of the highlights for children everywhere! The excitement of making fun a priority for a couple of months is such an intriguing thought. How can we help our children embrace all the fun they can get this summer while also aiming to avoid summer learning loss?
Summer Learning Loss is a significant issue.
What is summer learning loss? Summer learning loss is the loss of knowledge and academic skills throughout summer vacation. This issue causes a significant problem for children, especially in the younger grades when reading and math practice are essential for maintaining skills.
The reality is that when the school year ends, many children will have very few opportunities to engage in reading and mathematical ways of thinking. This is why it’s so important to look at learning methods to avoid summer learning loss.
Children have already lost so much essential learning time from pandemic learning loss.
Harvard Professor Tom Kane says, “There’s no time to waste.” His latest research has demonstrated that many, if not most, school districts are seeing pandemic learning losses much more severe than they initially imagined.
Even when education experiences were average, and the pandemic hadn’t turned life and learning completely upside-down, children still faced significant learning losses during the summer.
Every summer, children lose 2.6 months of math skills, two months of reading skills, and the equivalent of one month of overall learning. When they get back to learning in the fall, it is estimated that they will spend up to six weeks trying to re-learn old material to make up for these losses.
Those statistics are pretty severe and, unfortunately, don’t even consider that children are already struggling and way behind where they should be due to pandemic learning.
How can you help your child avoid summer learning loss and perhaps even begin to catch up from pandemic learning loss?
1. Make learning time a priority.
Setting a learning time doesn’t mean your child needs to be doing school every day! Alternatively, you can make a schedule each day to include 30 minutes per day of ‘learning time.’ During that 30 minutes, they can work on their summer learning materials like the Summer Schoolio books. Dedicating just 30 minutes daily to focus on completing the daily activities can help boost your child’s learning while significantly helping your child avoid summer learning loss.
2. Schedule Outdoor Learning Experiences.
Your child likely loves to explore the outdoors during the summer months, especially after months of winter weather and being stuck inside. And conveniently, plenty of outdoor experiences are waiting to help your child learn while having fun. Outdoor adventures help your child apply what they’ve learned in the classroom while improving cognitive functioning and physical health.
Some fun outdoor activities include:
- Visit a Honeybee Farm (bonus points if you do this after studying the All About Honeybees Special interest Unit)
- Add local cultural festivals and fairs to your calendar!
- Get in the garden as gardening is connected with many developmental, physical and psychological benefits for children of all ages.
- Schedule a ‘once-a-week outdoor clean-up’ to help the environment while helping your child learn the importance of caring for our amazing planet.
3. Focus on Specific Areas of Learning.
You’re likely able to pinpoint the subject(s) your child is experiencing the most difficulty with. Prioritize learning around this subject throughout the summer.
4. Encourage Your Child to Read Anywhere.
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, it can be tough to stay inside when the weather is fantastic. Instead of telling your child that they can’t go outside until they’ve finished reading – encourage them to take the book out and read on the porch or in the backyard.
When you take story time to the outdoors, you are providing their young minds with the opportunity to indulge in the sights and sounds of the outdoors. The outdoors provides an excellent multi-sensory experience that can help your child better connect to their surroundings while developing phonemic awareness.
5. Include Reading Materials About Outdoor Activities.
Is your child interested in gardening? Swimming? Birds? Then head to the library and pick up some fun books about those subjects, allowing them to read and learn about something that greatly interests them while helping them develop their reading skills.
6. Utilize a Local Community Garden.
Community gardens offer many learning opportunities for children (and adults) of all ages. When you and your child become involved with a local community garden, they will have the chance to learn about important things like cultivation, seed preservation, essential bugs, landscaping and horticulture. All of which are so important for our children to learn!
7. Limit Screen Time and Encourage Imaginative Play.
It can be tempting to allow your child to stay on their device for hours as you can get a much-needed break. But we all know this can be very bad for their mental health and detrimental to their developing brains. Encourage them to use their imaginations to play and create. If your child is used to always being on a screen, this will likely be a bumpy start. Stay strong and be consistent.
8. Pick up a Summer Schoolio Book.
Help your child avoid summer learning loss and prepare for the coming school year using this unique Schoolio program. Summer Schoolio Books are specifically designed to be suitable for any student learner that has completed their grade level.
The Summer Schoolio Program focuses on reviewing and solidifying important mathematical and language concepts studied in the previous year of learning. Throughout the program, your child will review materials in Number Sense and Numeration, Algebra and Patterning, Data Management and probability, Geometry and Spatial Reasoning, and Financial Literacy while also engaging in weekly writing activities.
Never overstress your child.
We understand the desire to help your child completely catch up on everything while also aiming to avoid summer learning loss. But remember, there’s a fine line that you need to walk. Keep an eye on your child, especially during reading/learning times, if they’re getting agitated and want to be done for the day. Then let them be. Learning is even more challenging to accomplish when the brain is under stress. As parents, we often feel we must constantly work to help our children succeed. But remember, sometimes downtime is just as crucial as learning time.