Summer doesn’t have to mean learning loss. It can be a time of powerful learning for children if we ensure that there are many learning activities to engage them in.
Educators know that children being able to read at grade level by third grade is critically important. Summer learning is essential to keep children on track not only for that milestone, but also for others—including high school graduation and college enrollment.
What can you do to help your child continue to learn over the summer? Here are some ideas:
Read books daily. Research shows that books that are “just right” for children (those that aren’t frustratingly hard or super-easy) make the best learning experiences.
Talk with your child about what he or she experiences each day. Give your child time to draw and caption a picture about their day, or write about it if they are older.
Choose a fun and engaging weekly read-aloud book that you can read as a family. Read a chapter aloud every night with different family members taking turns. Also:
Use your local public library to help develop a love of reading and learning. There are so many resources at a library: books, technology access, research areas, fun learning activities, and read-alouds.
Take advantage of any free summer programs that fit into your schedule. Many communities have free summer concerts, parks and recreation events, or farmer’s markets. These are all experiences that your children can talk about or write about to develop their language skills.
Make every outing with your child a learning opportunity. Even your grocery store can be a world of wonder filled with colors, shapes, words, and numbers. Provide questions and other opportunities for your child to learn from the world around her. For example, when you’re at a park you can encourage your child to:
Allow your child to use age-appropriate technology and high-quality digital learning content, such as top-rated educational apps, on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Digital books and games can provide excellent learning opportunities for young children if used properly. But keep in mind that time on a device should be managed based on the child’s age and should not replace the above activities.
Just imagine— every book that your child opens can provide an exciting field trip! This summer you can take your child to the moon and beyond, below the oceans and through a coral reef, and deep into the past or far into the future. Encourage their curiosity and imagination...they are boundless!
And remember this: the time and thought that you invest in summer learning will repay itself many times over, not just at the beginning of the next school year, but in all the school years after that.
At FutureSoBrite we believe that every child deserves a bright future, and that education makes all things possible. We believe great education doesn't just happen in school, it also happens at home. We are educators and parents who believe lessons learned at home are the foundations for lessons learned in life. Because teachers teach the class, but parents teach the child.