The activities parents and educators engage in between now and September are going to be really important to making sure that this learning loss doesn’t happen. These are some tips:
- Join your school’s summer reading program – Many school districts offer a Summer Reading Challenge in elementary and middle schools where students are challenged to read so many minutes over the summer break. Studies show that reading 20 or more minutes a day prevents summer learning loss. If students read approximately 20 minutes a day during summer break, they will reach 1,500 minutes.
- Find Fun Ways to Use Math – From measuring in the kitchen to counting change in the grocery store to home improvement projects, math is everywhere. Help your kids find the fun by showing them the usefulness of math. The kitchen is a great place to practice math, as long as there’s an adult home to supervise. How many tomatoes will you need to double the recipe for sauce? If you put 10 slices of mushroom on the pizza, ask your child to put to twice as many olive slices. How many is that? If there are three people in your family and 15 strawberries to divide equally among them, how many strawberries will each person get?
- Study Science in Nature – Take the family on a nature walk or visit local parks to spark learning about the environment, plants, animals and insects.
- Get Your Kids Writing - One way to do this is to have them keep a summer journal, a great way to capture memories. Encouraging your kids to write about their activities helps boost their vocabulary and practice their handwriting as well as their grammar, spelling and creative writing skills. You can even go beyond the journal. You might ask your child to write a book, a short play or a story.
- Take Virtual Educational Outings – There are hundreds of experiences to suit all ages and interests: Zoo webcams, museum tours, exhibits, online activities for kids, streaming performances, reading/story time, and stuff that's just for fun, from North America and all over the world. "Walk" through some of the world's most prestigious cultural institutions, like The Met and The American Museum of Natural History, then go for a "ride" on Disney's new Frozen rollercoaster with the kids.
- Have a Family Board Game Night - There are so many great board games on the market now, and they teach everything from fractions to phonics. They make learning fun. Boggle Jr. is perfect for spelling and Yahtzee for math. Pictionary practices reading, and Scrambled States boosts geography skills.
- Scholastic’s Summer Read-a-Palooza: Partnering with the United Way, publisher Scholastic reimagined its summer Read-a-Palooza program to be completely kid driven to encourage independent learning during the coronavirus lockdown and to ensure engaging experiences to keep kids reading this summer. The free digital program launched earlier this year to accommodate school closures — it runs May 4 through Sept. 4 — and can be found on Scholastic’s Home Base. It is designed to increase book access through its Reading Streaks portal, which unlocks a donation of 100,000 print books from Scholastic, distributed by United Way Worldwide. Kids will be able to create their own reading zone, download books, track their reading streaks and meet authors.