The longer kids spend on summer break, the more they forget from school, and the more skills they lose. This can put a huge strain on kids when they return to school in August. Sometimes kids struggle to keep up with new material because they can’t recall the content from the previous year of learning.
To help keep your kids sharp and ready for the new school year, try these four ways to keep kids engaged academically over the summer. These simple tricks will help reduce summer learning loss without sacrificing summer fun in the process.
1. Encourage Summer Reading
Keep your kids’ literacy skills sharp by encouraging lots of summer reading! You can participate in a summer reading program at your local library or business or just make some frequent trips to the bookstore to keep stocked.
Especially during the summer, it’s nice to let kids have a bit of control over their book selections. It’s also a good idea to let them read below their grade level or pick out a comic book, even if you feel it’s not challenging. This helps nurture a positive relationship with reading. Reading should never feel like a chore, especially in summer when it’s all about having fun!
2. Follow Their Learning Interests
Make an effort to learn together as a family based on the interests of your children. If they’re interested in nature, pick out some plant identification guides and go on a sunny nature walk together as a family. If they’re interested in dinosaurs, take a tour of the nearest natural history museum.
Basing some summer learning on your kids’ natural interests is great for fostering engagement in their education and keeping things fun and adventurous.
3. Keep Practicing
Kids aren’t always fond of workbooks or flashcards (especially in the summer), but if you use them correctly, you can get great results from them. Workbooks and flashcards are perfect for more focused practice of skills that are harder to replicate through typical summer activities (like math skills and handwriting).
Workbooks are fantastic for occupying children while traveling, especially on a long summer road trip or flight. Flashcards are great for keeping in the back seat of the car all the time so kiddos can practice their skills in small increments while riding to the grocery store or the park. Keep the flashcards readily available, but don’t force it. If there is resistance, try finding them another academic activity that might be more fun for them.
4. Keep a Summer Journal
Journaling is a great way for kids to work on their writing skills during the summer. Get a notebook and ask your children to document their summer in it. They can write about their summer camps or vacations and include hand-drawn pictures or glue in photographs. This is great writing practice for your kiddos and keeps their cognitive skills sharp as they work to recall and summarize events of their day. It’s also a wonderful keepsake to hold onto when the summer ends!
These are just a few quick ways that parents can keep their children in learning mode, even during the summer. While it’s important to find ways to keep your kids engaged academically over the summer, it’s equally important not to force too much on them. Implementing small doses of academics in fun ways can help kids prepare to be successful in the upcoming school year.