July 27, 2015 by SN
Summer Learning Loss
As I was looking for learning activities for our families to do over the summer, I typed summer learning into my Google search bar and the first thing that came up was SUMMER LEARNING LOSS. That wasn’t a very encouraging way to start this summer learning adventure that I was so excited about… Then I started thinking, “What if I was a Parent and I came across this?” Am I going to be even more concerned about my child receiving the educational skills needed to be successful in this day and age?
How do you Lose Learning?
Numerous studies have been conducted on the matter and Wikipedia even has an official definition of Summer Learning Loss, citing it as “The loss in academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer vacation.”
As a teacher, I did experience a sense of “I forgot” syndrome with my students for the first month or so of school. Part of it was in fact due to kids not reading or doing activities with educational value over the summer and part of it was just everyone getting used to each other and finding a working rhythm.
Every year, a new group of kids come together to learn from a new teacher, who has a different style of teaching from the teacher they had the year before. New schedules and routines need to be learned and procedures have to be put in place. It is all a bit overwhelming for both teacher and student.
So what is the answer? Do we cancel summer vacation and go to year round schooling? Do we put our kids on a rigorous schedule of worksheets and tests to make sure they are learning over the summer?
In my opinion, teachers and students need summer vacation. Schools are putting a lot of pressure on everyone these days and summer gives people the opportunity to relax, decompress and rejuvenate for the approaching school year.
When I was a child, summer was filled with adventure and opportunities to learn. I explored outside and learned about science and nature. I set up a lemonade stand which provided me to practice numerous math skills. I went to the library every week and I read books and learned new things. I wrote stories and did art projects.
Even though, times have changed, there are still opportunities all around us for learning to take place over the summer. We live in a world of video games and computers, which can either be used as babysitters and hinder learning or provide educational opportunities never before possible for learners if used properly and monitored closely.
All of this being said… there are things you can do to prepare your child for the next school year, without wearing them out and making them resent school. Summer Learning Camps provide learners with a fun, hands-on way to continue learning through the summer.
At home you can create your own summer learning calendar. The most important things to have learners of all ages doing throughout the summer are practicing math facts and reading and writing.
- The faster and more naturally learners can recall math facts, the more successful they will be with all higher level maths.
- Reading and writing are skills learners need across the board in all subjects.
There are many more resources on the internet you can find and print or you can make up your own. Teaching your kids core computer skills will enable them to use online learning software. Other things you can do are:
- Visit the library for story time
- Visit your local museum
- Research a person of interest and make a news report or book about them
- Take a nature walk and keep a science journal
- Write a script and preform reader’s theatre.
There is so much more you can do to stimulate learners’ minds and keep them thinking and growing in their education over the summer. The point is to follow your child’s interests and: BE CREATIVE, BE RESOURCEFUL AND MAKE IT FUN!