Avoid Summer Learning Loss
Summer is right around the corner. It is time to enjoy the sunshine, nature, sports, camps, beach and spending quality time with family and friends. Equally important is ensuring that your son or daughter continues to practice their reading, writing, math and science skills. Did you know that most students lose 20-30% of what they had learned the previous year during the summer? This is called Summer Learning Loss. Being out of school for ten weeks can have consequences. Momentum is lost. We all know the value in incorporating healthy daily habits. Even just 20 to 45 minutes a day can make all the difference.
Read Every Day
The summer provides amble opportunities to read. Whether this is at a park, beach, campground, cottage or simply in the backyard. Associating reading with relaxation and enjoyment is crucial. The benefits of reading is endless. It increases mental stimulation, vocabulary, knowledge, memory development, analytical thinking skills, focus, writing skills and a sense of tranquility.
Equally important is making sure that your son or daughter is reading the right books. If they are reading at a level that is too difficult or too easy then they will lose interest quickly. Be sure to test their comprehension by asking them to summarize what they have read. If they are unable to give a clear summary of the plot and characters then try books that are at a lower level. Another strategy is to ask them to read a few pages out loud to you. If they are having a difficult time pronouncing more than ten words per page then this may be a sign that they need to read at a lower level. Remember, it is more important that they enjoy reading and feel a sense of accomplishment then to struggle through a book and lose their interest.
Similarly, reading books that are of interest to them is important. Often times books that are introduced in the classroom are classics and are suitable for both boys and girls. Your son or daughter is unique and they have specific interests. For example, if your son loves sports and outdoor adventures then there are plenty of excellent books that are about these two areas of interest. Visiting your local library and speaking to the librarian would prove helpful. They would be able to provide you with an excellent list of the most popular books for children at your son or daughter’s reading level and based on their interests.
Keep a Daily Journal
There are countless benefits to keeping a journal. For starters, it associates writing with a positive and fun activity. It is especially beneficial for children who are reluctant to write or express themselves verbally. It provides an avenue for expression, to organize their thoughts, clarify their emotions, make good decisions and to reflect on daily activities.
The summer is full of adventures and unique experiences. Writing about one’s daily activities can be a fun experience which can include a scrapbook of pictures and tickets. At the end of the summer your son or daughter would have a fun-filled book that they can look back on for years to come. For others simply spending some quiet time each day writing can prove highly beneficial.
Flash Card Games
Flash cards are easy to use, convenient, effective and able to easily be packed in a suitcase! They are particularly effective for students who are learning addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They can be purchased through a large book store, online or an educational supply store. Squeezing in 10 minutes for a fun math game before dinner can be a fun way for your child to practice math.
Academically Orientated Camps
The options for summer camps are endless. Nowadays there is everything from sports, outdoor adventures, crafts, languages and over night camps. What about math or science camps? They are full of fun daily activities to get your son or daughter learning exciting things about the world around us. Who knows? They may spark a new interest in science or math!
Structured Tutoring Programs
Has your son or daughter fallen behind and is not quite working at grade level? Using their extra time during the summer to focus on specific areas would be highly effective at getting them caught up before the next school year. A qualified and professional tutor can teach a customized tutoring program that can target writing, reading or math skills. Sometimes it is just a matter of concepts being taught in a different way. Other times a student may just need a little extra time to master material and being able to focus without all the other distractions of school. Summer tutoring programs are particularly effective if daily homework is assigned, the tutor has a strong understanding of the curriculum, there are regular tests to confirm a student’s understanding and report cards are provided. Naturally, summer is a busy time for a lot of students as they may have irregular schedules and vacations. A tutoring program can work around this schedule and potentially offer an intensive program that covers a lot of material.
Educational games bring an element of fun into learning. Nowadays there are plenty of very well designed games that help students practice math, science, vocabulary, memory, spelling and much more! These can be card games, board games and video games. It can be an excellent family activity that incorporates fun, learning and quality family time. You can purchase educational games from various toy stores, educational supplies stores and online.