School is over and so begins the long lazy days of summer. During the summer months students are in danger of “summer slide” or “brain drain” – phrases that commonly refer to the learning loss that can occur when children are not engaged in educational activities during the summer.
Research indicates that students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency during the summer. It is also important to note that teachers spend between four to six weeks re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. Learning loss is certainly not inevitable. If you are wondering how you can help keep your kids off the “summer slide”, take a look at these fun activities designed to keep your child engaged in learning all summer long!
Literature and Movie Critique – Read a book and then watch the movie with your child. Compare and contrast the book and movie. There are some great movies out now that are also great books. Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer and Mr. Popper’s Penguins to name a few. This is a great way to interact with your child while you both learn something new together!
Explore and Research – Is there a topic or question that intrigues your child? How long does a butterfly live? How long does a firefly keep its light? How much water does it take to fill our pool? Summer is a great time to conduct a research project. Use the internet or library, or interview a few local experts. This is a great exercise that incorporates reading, writing and researching skills. You can make this as simple or detailed as you wish.
Make You Own Cookbook – Help your children put together a cookbook of their favorite foods and/or desserts. First, cook/bake each selection, then photograph and caption each item, next write out the ingredients and cooking directions. Before they know it, your child is on his or her way to creating their very own cookbook!
Vacation Photo Op – Turn you vacation into an opportunity for learning. Have your children journal and illustrate/photograph the highlights of their summer vacation. Go a step further and have them caption each illustration/photograph.
Family Game Night – Break out the Parcheesi! Host a weekly family game night throughout the summer. Board games can help to reinforce many skills including, math, reading, writing and even logic.
Summer learning loss can be prevented! What better time to promote and explore your children’s interests. Just remember to select projects that are in-line with their interests so they do not get bored. Be creative and make sure the learning activities are fun and interactive.
What do you have planned for your children this summer?
Yolanda is the mom of 3 young children in the Delaware Valley. She is the Founder of Team Tutor.