Summer vacation is supposed to be fun and enjoyable -- a time to relax and take a break from school. However, it is also a time when your children can lose their educational edge, putting them at a disadvantage when they return to school in the fall. In fact, when your children return to school, they may have experienced such learning loss during the summer, that they will need to spend several weeks catching up to where they once were academically.
Parents that stay involved and proactive in creating teachable moments over summer vacation can bond with their children and have a lot of fun learning together. When my own children were young, I was a schoolteacher, so I used the old lesson plan approach to summer activities. We took trips to many museums, and took every opportunity to practice and rehearse math and science skills, history, and geography in ways that were both enriching -- and fun.
Here are a few tips for preventing summer learning loss that worked for me:
- Visit your local library. A family trip to the library is a wonderful source for many activities. This includes taking turns reading to one another, sharing interests, and opportunities for you and your child to write and discuss your choices of reading material. You can also record stories that you and your children create for one another, to be played back at bedtime or by a babysitter when you have a date night.
Summer can be filled with fun activities that also serve as enriching learning experiences that help children keep their educational edge and prepare for school in the fall. There are so many more things you can find to do with your children; this list is just a start. Be creative, be engaged, and most importantly, remember that learning during the summer can be fun for the whole family!
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