As a former teacher, I know the truths of “summer slide”. What is “summer slide”? According to Ed.gov’s blog site, Homeroom, it’s learning loss that occurs when “children do not engage in educational activities during the summer months.” The best way to prevent it? Plan summer activities that incorporate learning, too! Your summer learning fun doesn’t have to look like a classroom, nor does it have to be a pinterest-worthy feat! Take a look below for 7 simple ways to keep your kiddo learning this summer!
Ask open-ended questions.
You’re at the beach and there is so much to see, do, feel, and hear! Ask your child about it! Using open-ended questions keeps their minds sharp. “What can you see?” “Why do you think that happened?” “Where did that come from?” Children are challenged to really think about the things around them and use their creativity and prior learning to have an engaging conversation with you! As a bonus, you get to spend time with your child and gain some insight to how they think!
Have some sensory fun!
Children learn by playing and doing, and incorporating sensory activities engages their minds and senses! Are you playing outside? Bring some rice or pasta out with you in a big bin and have your child explore with containers or small toys! Let your child do some finger painting! Let him/her to play in the mud! It’s okay to get messy for the sake of learning! Keep those hands busy and minds working! Keep the conversation flowing by asking about your child’s experiences.
Read, read, READ!
Children that hear language and use language often do better in reading and writing. Showing your children that you value reading and giving them the opportunity to do so also helps them be successful. Weekly trips to the library are an easy, fun and FREE activity that easily incorporates learning for your child. Most libraries offer summer programs that will enrich your child as well. Don’t forget that librarians are excellent resources for learning activities—ask him/her about ideas or resources to help your child!
Field trip time!
There are so many free or inexpensive opportunities for learning—right in your hometown! Do a simple internet search to learn what historical sites are nearby and take some time to visit! Don’t have a tour guide? Use your handy smartphone to guide you! Learning comes alive when your child can see, touch and feel it on a field trip!
Virtual field trips!
So, it’s raining and you can’t go on your previously scheduled outing—take a virtual field trip! Many museums and historical sites offer this exciting alternative on their websites—again, absolutely free and simple! Kids will love using technology, too!
Teach your child about their community and helping others by volunteering together! Learning isn’t just reading, writing and arithmetic—it’s getting to know others and helping to make a difference in the world. Check out your local community center, church or search online for opportunities.
One of the most valuable learning tools for your child is…YOU! Parent engagement and interest in their children’s learning motivates them to succeed. You don’t have to be a learning expert—you are already an expert on your child and that is plenty of experience to help them learn.
There you have it, parents! Simple ways to incorporate learning into your summer plans! Prevent that summer slide and get your kids learning!