There have been many studies examining the concept of “learning loss” in students during breaks from school. Summer learning loss is known as the loss of academic skills and knowledge during the course of summer vacation. It is estimated that all students experience approximately one month of summer loss, with most of the learning loss occurring in mathematics. Students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are at a higher risk for learning loss during breaks, especially in reading, than higher income students (who typically experience slight gains in reading levels during summer breaks).
What can you do as a parent to help prevent summer learning loss in your children? Don’t believe that school is the only time when your child can learn! Use games as a way to keep your child’s skills sharp. For example, host a family game night of Monopoly – no calculators allowed! This will help your kids keep their math skills sharp. Or a friendly game of Scrabble can help with vocabulary skills. Plan a trip to the library to encourage your children to read books, and lead by example. Choose a book and movie combo that the entire family will enjoy and discuss the differences between the book and movie versions. Take field trips to the local museums (the Cleveland History Museum and Great Lakes Science Center are two great places to start if you’re in Northeast Ohio!).
Other good ideas that you can do right at home:
Have your child interview family members (get Grandma and Grandpa involved) about their background and history and write a creative story about it
Stay up late and use a phone app to find the constellations in the night sky
Bake a batch of cookies and half or double the recipe
Take a walk around the neighborhood with a measuring tape and see who can find a tree with the biggest circumference
With just a little encouragement and creativity, your kids will be ready to go back to school in the fall, and will also have plenty of fun activities to keep them busy (and learning) all summer!
Check out these sources for other great ideas: