As planning for the summer begins, it’s a good time to begin thinking about how to keep your child learning over break in the midst of fun activities that you may have planned. We compiled a list of some tips for you to keep in mind as the summer approaches!
1. Communicate with your child’s teacher
Before the school year ends, check in with your child’s teacher to see how they’re getting on academically. There may be skills that your child has not quite mastered or areas of weaknesses that could be further strengthened. Ask your child’s teachers what they’d recommend doing to work on those skills over the summer months.
2. Keep a schedule
One of the more difficult aspects of the summer months is the lack of a schedule that the school day provides. If your child is not enrolled in a summer program during the day, it can be easy for them to fall out of a normal routine. Sit down with your child before the summer begins to set clear expectations of how their days should look. Help your child make a clear schedule of what they will do throughout the day and when to wake up and go to bed. While the schedule doesn’t need to be elaborate or finely detailed, it can at least establish some clear expectations of what your child should do each day.
3. Keep up the learning
Going along with the schedule idea, set clear times within the day when there can be learning and review. Online courses, like Exact Path (K-12), can provide quality, age-appropriate content for your child that can match what he or she learns during the school year. Within the schedule that you set up, creating 15- to 30-minute blocks of time where your child has focused learning will make a difference in the long run if done consistently! Check out our Marzano-validated best practices for online learning blog.
4. Go on educational outings and explore
Learning doesn’t have to be restricted to the home! Take educational outings to destinations such as your local history, science, or art museum and let your child explore different areas. Learn something new and let your child delve into a topic of interest. Vacations and trips are a great way to cultivate learning; engage your child by asking them to research the area you will be visiting and its local history.
5. Encourage you child to keep reading
Cultivate a love of reading by taking regular trips to the library. Let your child choose books and get recommendations from the children’s or youth librarian. Read alongside your child and encourage a love of reading by exposing him or her to many great books. Reading a lot of books can also help your child avoid the summer slide. One psychology study has shown that children who are given access to books over the summer perform 35–40% better on reading achievement tests than those without access to books.
6. Have fun together!
Lastly, have fun together! It is summer, after all. There are all sorts of amazing benefits to playtime that your children can gain from, so be sure to let those summer days be filled with fun in the sun.