Ah, summer break. We all need it. But did you know that kids tend to learn much of what they learn during the school year over summer break? According to Education Week, “The average student loses one to three months of learning over summer.” Obviously, we don’t want our kids to lose what they worked so hard to learn! Today, I’m sharing some great ways to help your kids avoid the summer slide.
Read and Read Some More
First off, summer reading exists for a reason (and not just to torture kids and their parents). Book Source explains, “Students who read during the summer gain an average of 1 month of reading proficiency. Students who don’t read lose an average of 2-3 months proficiency and over time, those lost months add up to years.”
Ouch! So, even if our kids are not readers, we need to encourage them to read over the summer break. Here’s my best suggestion – let them read whatever they want to read (even if it is Minecraft guides).
Use Math in Everyday, Real-Life Situations
Most kids will not be very happy if you give them a stack of math worksheets to work on over summer break. Would you? Instead, look for ways to use math in the real world, such as selling lemonade where kids have to add money or cooking together where kids have to measure and count.
Send Them to Summer Camp
This summer my girls were lucky enough to head to summer camp. There are so many great summer school options, but I really like the ones that include education such as iD Tech Camp. These camps are way more fun educational experiences than a traditional classroom.
Meet with a Tutor
If your child struggled this past school year, the summer is an excellent time to work with an academic tutor. For example, many students benefit greatly from working one on one with a reading tutor. Before you hire a tutor, check with your child’s school to see if they work with any tutoring companies to ensure you find tutors who are familiar with your school’s standards and academic program.
Set Screen Time Limits and Add Educational Apps to Their Devices
Don’t hate me, but it’s probably a wise idea to set some summer screen time limits. Now listen – I am so not anti-screen! My girls love their shows! But, if I’m not careful, they can easily waste a whole day in front of a screen. This is why, during the summer, I work to enforce screen time limits.
With that being said, I say, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Screens are here to stay, so understand that trying to prevent them from using them completely is a losing battle. Instead, stock their devices with fun educational games and apps.
Let Them Play
Finally, just let the kids play! Imaginative play is so important for kids’ overall development. Encourage them to play with their toys, with their siblings, and by themselves.