Now that summer is here, parents are reminded to help their children avoid the “summer slide” or “summer brain drain”.
According to Nick Whitehead, co-founder and president of Oxford learning, children may lose a big chunk of the knowledge and skills they’ve learned when summer is done and school starts again. This happens if children do not engage in any learning activities when school is out. Tonya Perry, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum instruction in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Education will agree with him as she says, “Research shows that students need to continue to learn year round“. She recommends that during summer break, kids revisit their interests, work on their challenges and accelerate their learning.
The National Summer Learning Association points out that when comparing the scores of a standardized test given both at the beginning and at the end of summer, kids who lack educational activities during the summer vacation typically scored lower in the latter. When they go back to school, they have to play catch up as most of the things they have learned are forgotten. Marian Valdez, a fourth-grade teacher at Washington Elementary in Los Angeles, shares her experience: “We spend the first couple of months, especially in math, reviewing, going back over the facts, time tests, those kinds of things.”
So, to help your children avoid the summer learning loss, here are a few recommendations to keep them learning throughout summer. You don’t have to force your children to sit down to do worksheets a few hours every day. A few hours a week or 1/2 hour a day is all you need, and it is best to keep the activity fun but still reinforce their reading and math skills.
SUMMER LEARNING RECOMMENDATIONS
1. The Summer Olympics 2012 Lapbook with Study Guide
The 2012 Summer Olympics start in July. You can take this opportunity to learn more about it with this lapbook. This lapbook comes with a booklet for you children to keep track of who wins the gold medals and which country they come from. Click here to see what the lapbook looks like.
2. Daily Summer Activities
This book is by Evan-Moor Educational Publishers. There is a series of “Daily Summer Activities” books for children of different grades. For example, this one below is for those children moving to 2nd grade.
These Daily Summer Activities books will help your children stay in touch with learning and that will help them transition better into the next grade. Don’t expect your children to learn new skills with this book, it is more about retention of what they already know. If you want them to learn ahead for the new school year, consider getting the book that is one grade up. For example, if your child is starting grade 2, then get the Moving from Second to Third Grade book. Not tedious work. A child could finish 2 pages in 15 minutes. It is organized by the week with daily activities.
3. Book Adventure
Want a way to motivate your children to read books during the summer? Have them sign up at Book Adventure. This is a joined effort of The National Summer Learning Association and Sylvan Learning’s Book Adventure. It is an interactive reading and motivation program. It is free and have an incentive program to keep children reading. Read is more fun when there are contests to enter and prizes to be won. Book Adventure offers more than 8,000+ book titles, quizzes, and small prizes. Kids grade K-8 can participate.
4. Summer Learning Grades 2-3
The publisher is On The Mark Press. A collection of English and math practice worksheets to maintain what your children have already learned in school. Light and fun work that helps in reviewing and reinforcement of skills. Summer Learning is available from grades one to six. 32 pages. Click here to take a peek inside.
5. Summer Fun Multiplication Lapbook
Learning times table for the first time could be difficult. Your children may not like it BUT the best thing is to encourage them to dedicate some time to memorizing it. Once they’ve got it, it is with them for life. They just need practice. Why not make learning it a little fun. Try out this summer themed lapbook to get them reviewing and memorizing the 0-12 multiplication facts.
6. An Activity a Day, Keeps the Boredom Away: Summer Packet
This packet includes enough (over 40) Math, Science, Literacy, Art, Computer, and Character Building Activities to be completed each day of the summer and MORE! It comprises of 70 pages. Here are some examples of the activities you’ll find in there: Magazine scavenger hunt, kindness activity, Raindrop mixed up words, How do you eat a popsicle?, Gold Fish probability and many more.
7. My Moments in Time: Summer Daily Journal Booklet
When surfing the net for ideas on summer activities for children, one idea that keeps popping up is keeping a summer journal. Well, here is a booklet to help your children do just that. It includes 40 different writing prompts to help children along with each entry and encourage them to write…very good for even the most reluctant writer!
Most of the crafts use common, everyday supplies such as recycled milk jugs and egg cartons, paper, yarn and other inexpensive supplies. You can adapt the craft to suit younger or older kids. I like the glossy pages and colorful pictures that let you know what the project is suppose to look like. You’ll find step-by-step instructions that make the directions easy to follow. Many fun projects for your children to do this summer.
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