Top Tips for Summer Planning
Keeping summertime educational is an important part of preventing summer learning loss, or summer slide. Students who do not continue to learn during the summer often return to school a full year behind where they were at the end of the school year in June.
Keeping summer fun is also important. For many families, summer is a time for the whole family to be together, to travel and take on activities it is not possible to participate in during the school year.
The key to planning a summer that is fun and educational is balancing the two. Learning during the summer does not have to follow the same format as learning in the classroom. Here are some tips for parents on planning their own summer of learning:
- Start planning early.
- It is never too early to start planning for summer learning. Keep track of what your child is learning in class, so you know which skills you will want to review. If you can, talk to your child’s teacher for next year about what you can do to keep them up to speed during the summer. Register for classes early, so your student will be able to attend the programs they need or are interested in..
- Keep learning fun.
- Summer is an ideal time to mix up the format of learning for students. Try different experiments — especially ones that rely on good weather — to boost science skills; let kids help in the kitchen or at the store to keep math skills from getting rusty. Word games for the family can keep vocabulary skills high for the next year. Tailor activities around each students’ interests to get their attention.
- Make time for reading.
- One of the more significant areas of summer learning loss is reading. Make time to read each day to keep reading stamina up for the school year. Fun ways to keep kids interested in books during the summer are enrolling in library programs, or starting a family program.
- Utilize family travel.
- Many families travel during the summer, so tie your trips into learning. Learn about the places you visit, talk about geography and wildlife in the area, do travel-themed exercises, and have students write about their experiences.
(Sources: rand.org, U.S. Dept. of Ed. blog)