BY KYLEEN GRAY
Summer is near! But alas, so are the dangers of summer learning loss. Yes, this is a real thing’ Statistics point to summer learning loss as most problematic in the areas of literacy, mathematics and physical activity. How can you bridge the gap for your kids this summer? Read on for some easy ideas to keep the learning fire going over the summer months.
Read – There are so many summer opportunities to read if parents model the skill. Regularly visit a library, read travel or camping guides for an upcoming vacation, borrow a couple of books from school and read them over the break.
Write– Write a daily journal or travelogue if on the road. A great idea I’ve asked my kids to do is create a scrapbook of their summer that includes mementos, images, as well as writing. Don’t worry about making the script perfect. Just get et your kids to write. As for the more creative types, poetry or fictional writing can also be a great outlet either by hand or via technology applications, such as Storybird or Wattpad.
Play Games – Games are an excellent source of summer learning. Many cards and board games support necessary mathematical skills such as patterning, counting, predicting, analyzing, etc. Other games also could support topic-specific knowledge in other subject areas depending on the game selected.
Get Outside – Summer is time for outside play, which increases physical activity for kids, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to learn about the great outdoors and geography/science. Get outside and get physical this summer: run, bike, swim, play games, hike. Take time learning about types of lakes, fauna or rock formations on a camping trip. Alternatively, while viewing the stars at night, start a conversation about the atmosphere, constellations and space. If you’re growing a garden this summer, let your kids take care of and monitor its growth.
Educational Apps – If you allow screen time during the summer, why not use it wisely? There are a plethora of educational apps out there for any subject area. Some of my favourites include Habitat (environmental consciousness), Balloony Word (reading), Storybird (writing), Prodigy (mathematics) and Learning A-Z (reading).
The most important thing to curb summer reading loss is to have a plan in place. Focus on what your child needs regarding learning and build a regular activity plan from there.