It’s hard to believe the school year is finished. Summer is a great time for students to fill in missing gaps, jumpstart the next school year, and continue overall learning. It’s estimated students lose 25% or more of learned material over summer vacation if they do not continue with some type of enrichment or learning activities. Because of this, it is important to offer unique educational opportunities over the summer months.
Learning over the summer doesn’t have to and really shouldn’t look like traditional summer school. Your children have just finished 9-10 months in the classroom and unless summer school is required because of academic concerns, children do not need to spend another three months in that setting. Summertime is a wonderful opportunity to try new things, explore different learning styles, and develop school confidence.
Here are three areas I recommend parents and students look at for summer academic work.
- Fill in Missing Information
Help your child look over work from this past school year. Determine particular concepts or subjects that were difficult. Find interactive activities to help your child master the material. A great resource is your child’s teacher who can direct you and your child to appropriate learning materials. Find alternative ways to use concepts the child need to work on. For example, if your child likes frogs, practice writing skills by researching frogs and writing a report using correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
- Jumpstart for Next Year
Look at the classes your child will be taking during the next school year. Spend some time over the summer months reading or learning about that area of study. For example, borrow the math or science textbook and pre-read the information that will be covered. Get the language arts class reading list and read some of the books over the summer months.
- Enrich an Area of Passion
Many times children will find a passion for a certain subject area, but won’t have an opportunity to spend extra time learning about it. For instance, if your child loves hands-on chemistry experiments, help him perform science experiments and document them in a journal just like a real scientist. Finding extension activities on specific concepts has been made easy with the Internet. Great ideas are just a click away!
There are many benefits to learning over the summer months. It’s low risk as there are not grades to worry about. Anxiety decreases because kids do not have to be concerned with due dates or failing. Children get a chance to try something new and explore areas of interest in greater depth. Most importantly, keep their brains engaged. Allow your child time off, but also allow your child time to learn.
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Watch Megan’s Tools for School: Beat the Summer Slump on KARE11 with Belinda Jensen!
By Megan Stone, M.Ed.
Wife to Rick, Mom of two
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.
Author of Own Your Education! A Student’s Guide to Greater Success in School (And Life)
And for more about these concepts from Megan, read Own Your Education: A Student’s Guide to Greater Success in School (and Life). Pick up copies for graduation gifts!
Revised from May 21, 2013.