As summer vacation approaches, everyone is probably looking forward to a much-deserved break. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a little time off, parents will want to avoid the loss of essential skills that took so much time and effort to build.
There’s even a term for it – summer learning loss. It’s the inevitable setback that happens each year as children return to a new school year at a slightly lower academic level than they were at at the end of the last school.
So, how do you avoid summer learning loss? Simply by having your children continue to practice some of the skills they’ve learned over summer break. And it doesn’t have to be as dull as it sounds. Here are six good habits you and your children can begin practicing to stay learning over summer break.
1. Establish a Summer Reading Program
Children are known to consistently lose up to a quarter of their reading skills over the summer, which can impact them in the coming year. According to Scholastic Books, reading just six books over the summertime can help a child stay on track. Make sure the reading material is challenging enough and that your child is using this skill consistently.
2. Continue to Use Math Lessons
Another serious issue that children face is the loss of hard-won math skills. These can be even tougher to re-acquire than reading skills, so it’s better to hold onto them. Texas Instruments recommends that parents encourage children to use math in their daily activities, find math or science-related summer jobs if possible, and become a tutor to others in skills they’ve already mastered.
3. Promote Physical Activity
One of the things many homeschool parents emphasize is staying active. It would be a shame for children to lose this momentum over a short summer break. Instead, encourage your children to remain active. This might involve play dates, summer sports leagues, or some active family vacations.
4. Let Them Be Creative
Creative activities are excellent for creating neural pathways between different parts of the brain, which stimulates learning. You can incorporate creativity into your summer plans by having your child color or paint, learn a new craft, or write in a journal.
5. Go Exploring
Taking day trips or longer vacations with the family can encourage learning. When you explore different places, your child can learn more about history, the environment, and much more. This also helps them figure out what interests them.
6. Choose Science and Technology Activities
Whether traveling or not, you can choose some science and technology activities to keep your child engaged. There are opportunities for science as nearby as your own backyard, kitchen, or city park. And with technology, children can experiment with robotics kits or use any number of educational apps to work on improving their math, science, or English skills over the summer break.
Get the Support You Need During the School Year and Over Summer Break
Homeschooling your children is an excellent option if you want to have more control over their curriculum and choose a path that sets them up for success. But most homeschooling parents need some support and guidance.
Since 1990, the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHC) has been partnering with parents to create the ideal homeschool environment. We provide educational assistance, online reporting, bookstore, discounts, and much more. Contact us today to learn more about membership and its benefits.