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How To Keep Your Child Academically Engaged Over The Summer Break

Child reading book in bed.

It’s a no-brainer that students tend to forget what they learn during the school year when they go on summer break. While summer break is a necessary break for students to rest and recharge, the learning loss is imminent. It is something that affects all students, young and old. According to Oxford Learning, when students go on summer break, they lose about one month of learning. One month of learning might not seem like a lot, but that’s the equivalent of at least 1 full unit. Imagine going into the next school year and you don’t have a full understanding of the fundamentals. That is a true nightmare. Along with this month of learning loss, students lose about 2.6 months of math skills, and 2 months of reading skills. Students have to spend about 1.5 months in the next school year reestablishing their fundamentals every year. If you add this up, that is at least 1 full year total students spend relearning things that they should already know, during their entire academic career before college. This month of relearning every year can be better utilized to practice and revise for their finals or to slow down the pace of learning everything in the year to better understand the topics. They are basically throwing away a month of school every year by not practicing their skills during the summer.

It only takes about 2-3 hours of practicing their skills per week in the summer to keep their learning integrity on track. 2-3 hours per week is 20-30 minutes per day. Students should spend 20-30 minutes everyday simulating their minds through problem solving. Since learning loss is more apparent amongst older students, it’s especially important for them to be learning in the summer. Topics that older students learn require more time to relearn than younger students. 

What Can Be Done?

There are plenty of things we can do to make sure the students in our lives are not losing out on precious learning. 

  1. Spend 15-30 minutes everyday to read
    It’s easy to forget to read everyday when you’re supposed to read just a couple minutes. We recommend helping students keep a tracker of what activities they do throughout the day. This will help students keep track of not just what they do in a day, also what they are reading during the summer. 
    If your student is reading at below grade level, read with them. Help them out when it comes to reading, sounding out words, and understanding what they are reading. Speaking to them about what they are reading will help develop their reading comprehension skills.
  2. Encourage Writing
    One of the best ways to encourage writing during the summer is to have them keep a journal of their daily activities. After a long and fun summer day, just have them sit down and reminisce on what they did all day. Write about it. To make this a double victory, have them read back to you what they wrote. Practice their writing and reading at the same time.
  3. Do Some Arts and Crafts
    While reading and writing activities are great, kids need outlets to be creative and et their minds explore. The main goal here is to make sure kids aren’t just sitting around watching TV or playing games.
    Link for arts and crafts ideas
    Get their creative juices flowing. Being creative helps students develop a lot of problem solving skills that they otherwise would overlook when doing regular activities like watching tv.
  4. Stay Active
    During the school year, students are stuck in their classrooms for 8 hours a day. It is imperative that in the summer, they are encouraged to get active. The saying “60 minutes of activity everyday is all you really need” is extremely true. Take advantage of the beautiful summer weather and free time and get out there and play. This isn’t recommended only for students, but for adults as well.
  5. Learn Online
    Yes, school is out. However, there are a plethora of online resources you can use to make sure students are continuing to learn in the summer. Get them involved in a summer program and help them get a head start on the next grade level.

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