Summer is often thought of as a time for lazy days and long vacations. However, for children that are in school, even at the earliest stages, “Summer Learning Loss” (also called “Summer Setback” or “Summer Slide”) is a very real concern. After a long summer vacation many children will return to school in the fall with lower achievement and education levels than they exhibited before vacation. While some of the studies and literature are mixed, there is evidence that students will lose some amount of learning over the summer months.
Fortunately, preventing Summer Learning Loss doesn’t mean that parents have to take the fun out of summer vacation. There are plenty of activities that are entertaining and educational that still leave plenty of time for enjoying vacation and family time. Here are a few ideas to keep learning fun, all summer long:
Read for fun
Reading shouldn’t just be for the school year. Making reading a fun and a rewarding activity is important all year long but is especially important during the school year. Many public libraries offer programs for children who are reading and younger children who are still read to, and often feature educational opportunities that go beyond just books. Make reading an outdoor activity by taking a book to the park, the beach, or even just the back yard. Start an evening routine of reading to or with your child that can be continued all year long and includes books that are chosen purely for fun and entertainment.
While there is a general agreement that a child’s screen time should be limited, that doesn’t mean it has to be completely eliminated. Take advantage of educational and interactive apps on a limited basis. Consider making tech more hands-on than just holding a tablet or phone and start an engaging project like a robotics kit.
Play, explore, and learn
Physical activity is important for both the body and the brain. It also offers plenty of opportunity for learning. Consider a summer sport to encourage team work and physical skills or learn a new skill like swimming. Go for a walk in the park or even just your backyard to learn about plants and bugs or spend the day in an interactive museum to learn something brand new.
The end of the school year doesn’t have to mean the end of learning for that year. Keep up the fun activities throughout the summer to encourage a lifetime love a learning that doesn’t have to just be about school — life is all about discovering, using the imagination, and learning new things.
At Red Door Early Learning Center, we feel that summertime (and all the time!) is perfect for learning AND fun! That’s why we offer Summer Camp programs with a wide variety of exciting, imaginative, educational, and active themes.