Statistically children lose momentum during the summer months particularly in the areas of reading and mathematics. Children on average lose one to three months of learning to “summer brain drain.” While many families encourage some summer reading they don’t always think about math. The summer break is great for all types of activities but keeping an eye on educational options can be critical for a majority of children.
Here are some tips to help you through summer and move your child forward.
· Keep on Reading – have lots of books available and include regular trips to the library. Libraries in the metro have several special events for children throughout summer. Check out your local library for options that are available. You can also have a summer reading program at home. We kept track of reading throughout the summer, charting each child’s progress with goals specific to each child’s age level and included fun rewards for meeting those goals. It was a win-win experience for all.
· Teachable Moments – think about what the children are experiencing throughout the summer. How can vacation experiences be teachable opportunities? Include science, history and social study options when planning your summer activities. Keep your eyes open for expanding on children’s curiosity. A trip to the beach could produce conversations and exploration a number of questions such as – How is sand formed? What is buoyancy? Why is the sky blue?
· Keep Math in Mind – math skills suffer the most loss during the summer so being aware of math throughout the summer activities is important. Remember math skills include measuring, comparison, construction, time, number operations, money, special relationships and more. Many games have mathematical aspects that can be emphasized. Counting and number operations can be fun anywhere at any time. In fact it’s a great way to pass the time in the car or waiting in line.
· Summer tutoring or summer school is another option to keep children on track or to enrich areas that have a special interest to them. If you choose to have more formal learning options for the children keep the sessions short and select a time of day that is best for that child. You want the child to have a good balance of the fun summer activities along with academic ones.
Whatever activities you choose that include an educational component remember to keep it fun! They’ll remember a great summer break and they’ll head back to school still on track.