Summer Learning Experiences
Posted on July 28, 2021 by CHS
Summer has arrived, which means plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, leisure time spent at home, and a welcome break from the busy school-year routine. While both children and parents enjoy spending time together away from their usual school routine during the summer, it can contribute to children experiencing some summer learning loss.
Summer learning loss, or summer slide, happens when there is an extended break from a structured educational setting; however, there are activities you can do with your child over the summer to help combat the summer slide.
From basic communication and discussion of daily tasks, to visiting the local library, there are many ways to engage children and promote learning and development while enjoying your summer together. Below are some ideas to facilitate learning experiences for the children in your life:
Explore the Day
You don’t need to pack a suitcase to have a memorable trip this summer. Visits to your local library, museum, or zoo are an excellent way to recreate the excitement of school field trips. Engage your child by asking open-ended questions about what they observe in their surroundings. Consider taking a different form of transportation to your destination in order to offer an added sense of adventure and excitement. Map out the route with your child prior to leaving and talk about the different things you may see.
Count the Ways
Explore math in your everyday life. Share with your child the everyday ways we use math to solve problems and complete tasks. Count the number of footsteps it takes to get from your vehicle to your doorstep. Make estimations on the number of items you collect during a purchase at the grocery store or the number of cars that a given parking lot could hold, and ask your child about their reasoning to support their estimation.
Visit the Library
The library is a great option that allows your child to explore a range of subjects and decide which to explore further. Visit the library with your child and encourage them to check out a few books to read independently and together. When reading together, take breaks to ask your child about what is happening in the story and to place themselves in the situation of the characters; this encourages problem-solving and conceptual thought. Your local library may have a summer calendar of events or activities for you to plan your next visit.
Make (or buy) a Challenge Calendar
Use a Challenge Calendar to help your child focus their attention on the days of the week by introducing a variety of activities for specific days. Assign themes to your child’s challenge calendar; certain days or weeks could feature particular elements like contests, raffles, or other games. Using a calendar that you and your child can refer to on a daily basis will provide your child with a sense of routine, give them something to look forward to, and will help keep the summer days from blending together.
Implement Technology or Education Apps (with time limits)
During the summer break, it is especially important to maintain screen-time limits with your child. Smart devices are a great resource that can be utilized to participate in educational applications and learning experiences. There are many smart device applications designed with the intention to provide educational information to children in a fun and engaging manner. You can also use your smart device to record an informational video. Decide on a task with your child and record a video that explains the necessary steps for completing the task, for example: brushing your teeth, safely crossing the street, or solving a math equation. Communicating each step’s process encourages comprehension and communication skills.
References and Resources
- Here’s how to help your child keep learning all summer long by Kailey Rhodes
- 8 Tips for Visiting Your Local Library by Ellen Booth Church
- Summer learning loss: What we know and what we’re learning by Megan Kuhfeld
- The Best Free Apps and Websites for Learning by Commonsense.org
- Summer learning loss: What is it, and what can we do about it? by David M. Quinn and Morgan Polikoff
- 101 Fun Ways to Keep Kids Learning All Summer Long by Christie Burnett
- Prepare for Success in the Upcoming School Year by National PTA