“What time is it?
It’s our vacation
What time is it?
That’s right, say it loud
What time is it?
Time of our lives
What time is it?
School’s out, scream and shout”
Ahh… High School Musical. I can perfectly picture the Wildcats of East High School dancing and singing this song down the halls. You can feel the excitement for 3 months of no school!
And in real life, it’s finally summertime (or almost)! You and your kids are probably ready to dance and celebrate the break from school to relax, explore and play. So then, why would you want to engage your kids in summer learning?
The dreaded “summer slide”… We’ve all heard of it… but what is it?
Studies have shown a general trend that kids lose as much as one month of learning during the summer. The first study done on the subject in 1996 from the University of Missouri found that “The effect of summer break was more detrimental for math than for reading and most detrimental for math computation and spelling.”
Summer learning keeps academic skills polished
By engaging your kids in summer learning you can help them to retain what they learned during the school year. Just a little bit of daily, targeted practice can help your kids be ready to jump right back into the next school year.
Summer learning provides structure
No more carpool, less extracurricular activities, if you are like me at first this feels AMAZING! However, after a few weeks I start to crave the structure of a schedule.
Bringing summer learning into your home, you can establish a little bit of structure. You can create a schedule that includes doing a few learning activities every day. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time.
Just that little bit of structure helps a lot!
Summer learning can create everyday learning opportunities
One of my favorite things about at home learning, whether that is homeschool or summer learning, is that you can find ways to organically learn with your kids. You can find opportunities all around your home, in every activity to learn together. I believe that this helps to create life-long learners who seek out learning everywhere, and not just something they have to do in the classroom.
How to do summer learning
The why of summer learning makes sense but then… how?
Explore outside of the house
Summertime comes with the freedom to get outside more. You may go on a family vacation or camping trip, visit local historical sites or state parks, or just go to a local park or swimming pool. Wherever you go, make it a goal to learn something new there.
Ask your kids different types of questions- background knowledge, textual/visual questions, or deeper thinking questions, while you are out and about. Talk about their answers. When you get home, research any unanswered questions together.
Make learning something new an everyday experience.
Play games together
There are so many fun educational games out there that your kids will love! They may not even realize that they are learning as you play together.
Start a summer reading challenge
Challenge your kids to read a variety of texts over the summer. You can set individual or family reading goals and work towards them.
We have a great Summer Reading Challenge in our shop. It includes a book tracker, reading logs, awards, bookmarks, and motivational posters. There are two versions: Level 1 and Level 2. The differences are the number of books and categories suggested. Level 1 suggests 25 books and 5 genres (plus your choice). Level 2 suggests 42 books and 9 genres (plus your choice). Each category is EDITABLE, so YOU get to choose the suggested genres! Suggestions are typed in, but you can delete and edit as you please! You can even get creative with it- instead of genres, type in other categories (such as from an award-winning author, books your parents read as a child, etc!)
Most of all enjoy this time with your kids, playing and learning together!