When playing a sport or an instrument, lack of practice stunts your skills growth. The brain is the same way. Discover how parents can use these five summer learning activities to keep CCA learners’ academic growth from plateauing or backtracking and to help make sure learning doesn’t stop just because the school year is done.
Children lose nearly three months of learning over the summer, causing teachers to typically spend four to six weeks reteaching material kids forgot over the summer, according to research studies by Johns Hopkins University. The worst part is summer learning loss isn’t a temporary phenomenon.
Even though the summer months always seem to fly by, summer learning loss has lasting consequences for learners. Research studies estimate that by ninth grade, as much as two-thirds of the achievement gap is the result of learning loss. Learning losses can accumulate over the years, causing below-grade level performance that can follow students through high school, college and beyond.
Here are five ways to keep learning fun for your kids – and keep their brains stimulated – all summer long.
- Read. Reading can help young children learn new vocabulary and improve critical thinking skills. You can join a library’s summer reading program with your child or have them read the comics in the newspaper. Just reading aloud from books, magazines, recipes, game instructions or even the back of a cereal box can help foster your child’s learning.
- Identify. You can collect rocks or leaves, take photos of bugs or birds and research what they are with your child. Take young learners on a scavenger hunt to practice objects, shapes and colors. Identifying new things is a fun way to use curiosity and discovery as a source of learning.
- Compute. Studies show that math skills are the most lost skill over the summer. Some different ways to have your child use math in everyday situations include having your child calculate a restaurant tip or determine the cost of filling the gas tank. You can use recipes to practice fractions as well.
- Write. Writing improves communication skills and helps support the long-term memory skills. Have your child keep a summer journal, be in charge of writing the grocery list, or collecting and sending postcard during a family vacation.
- Discover. Many historical sites and company tours are free. Museums, zoos and nature centers often have free or discounted days. Studies show these opportunities offer an interactive and hands on experience that provides the foundation for creativity and critical thinking by exploring new things in a rich and educational environment. Planning trips like these are a great way for children to learn new things while having a fun experience.