Sustaining your kids learning during Summer

July 8, 2015

Summer learning activities for kids are very important in the educational journey of every child, and a primary method to avoid the phenomenon of Summer Learning Loss, referring to the possibility of children losing up to two months’ worth of reading and math skills during the long summer vacation.

Families share activities where everyday moments can be turned into learning opportunities. Encouraging your child to ask questions about what they see, hear and feel in a manner that encourages open discussions is a very powerful technique to developing critical thinking. The application of logic, the importance of accuracy and the need for clear and relevant discussion are all absolutely fundamental to critical thinking. By developing these attributes, by supporting your child when they are talking to you is a key way that parents can help.

There are many ways to stimulate your child’s curiosity and maintain their academic levels during summer through a range of activities that include listening, seeing, reading, writing and creating, that help the academic, social, and emotional development of a child. For example involve your child in planning a visit to a museum or an aquarium and let them research things such as the cost, the travel time and what they would like to see. They could then create a photo story of their visit.

Using games can often make learning of maths more fun and ideas such as planning and shopping for a family picnic is a great way to develop these skills.

Science is all around us, for example in the natural world and creatures that children encounter could lead to children having a fun day as an ‘animal detective’, where they could use skills of research and observation linked to a trip to a zoo or animal park, for example.

Interactive activities such as cooking and constructing with Lego are excellent ways to develop and stimulate creativity and develop motor skills.

Reading is a fundamental skill that supports virtually every area of learning and research. It helps to develop skills and vocabulary and it should be an ongoing activity. If reading skills are not developed throughout the summer vacation it will hinder a child’s academic progress.

A useful way to expand a child’s view of the world is to use current affairs and pick a topic each day that you can talk to your child about. Choosing a variety of subjects from different parts of the world is a good way to do this.

Why not check to see if there are any local clubs/activities in your area that your child could join that would give them to opportunity to be with other children and enable them to improve social interaction and communication skills? Some ideas might be drama, sports and arts clubs.

I like the words written by Dr. Seuss: ‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you will go’.

Summer learning activities are a fun and enjoyable way to further the development of your child’s academic and emotional abilities. So I leave you with a thought that you can share with your children as you continue to enjoy the summer vacation and maintain their thirst for learning: