The average student loses between 17 to 34 percent of the prior year’s learning gains during the summer break. Students who lose ground during summer are more likely to lose ground next school year. Academic loss during summer can cause a loss of confidence and another set of difficulties in the following school year. To prevent this, parents must consider summer a pivotal time to focus on growth, confidence, and sparking an interest in learning and motivation. Here are five top ideas to prepare for a confident school year during the summer break.
1. Use Summer to Prevent Learning Loss
At The Learning Lab, we focus our Summer Programs on preventing the “summer slide” or the academic loss during the summer. Our summer programs are designed to keep the academic momentum going and close learning gaps, whether in reading, math, or language arts. Summer programs at The Learning Lab offer an amazing opportunity for kids to continue practicing their skills and closing learning gaps while having fun.
2. Encourage Reading and Studying
Reading is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep kids’ language skills and vocabulary fresh. Go on a trip to the library and let your child pick a book (or an audiobook). By allowing them to choose, you foster confidence and build on rewarding elements later on. Encourage them to find a particular interest and follow this newfound interest through reading. Set aside time to discuss what the book was about and how they liked it or didn’t.
3. Turn Games Into Learning Opportunities
Games are an excellent way of making learning fun and interactive. Look for games that focus on educational rewards. For example, Scrabble can be a perfect way to practice vocabulary. Candyland makes numbers seem fun. Or even trying to change the serving size of a recipe can be an excellent opportunity to discuss math problems being used in real life. By teaching your kids that learning can be fun, they’ll be able to associate homework and other activities with fun elements.
4. Build Independence
Summer is the perfect time to focus on fostering independence. Let your child work on a project, complete a small chore, or try a task for 20-30 minutes on their own. Older children can spend an afternoon by themselves, focusing on reading or learning independently. Find STEM or STEAM activities that they can complete to motivate them to practice these things on their own. Building independence is essential in helping your kid feel confident as they navigate the 2022/2023 school year.
5. Address Trouble Areas
At last, use the summer to address trouble areas. Whether reading, math, or writing, spending part of the summer working on these areas will make them feel more confident in their skills in the upcoming school year. Working at home or with a tutor, choosing an educational summer program can also be helpful in this case. These programs can help prevent loss of academic momentum and improve trouble areas so kids can start the year feeling more confident in their skillset; this way, they don’t lose ground learning new concepts.