- Up to 40% of students learning from the past year is lost during the summer holidays
- Students will return to school in September with a lower level than they have now in June
- Just 2-3 hours each week can prevent this learning loss
- There are many fun yet effective ways to promote continued learning yet still enjoying the long summer holidays we have.
Be a Bookworm
Try to read four to five books over the summer holidays. Allow your child to choose books that spark their interest and excitement, making this a fun and engaging activity rather than a school assignment.
Including reading in your child’s summer can help strengthen their reading ability and sharpen spelling and grammar skills. Plus, books from different genres can help with other subject areas as well! Use these ideas to make reading an enjoyable pastime for both you and your child.
- Take a trip to your local library
- Bring a book with you to the park or beach
- Read a chapter in the morning, when your child is used to learning and before other plans cause distraction
- Create a reward system for finishing books and/or chapters
Play Your Way
Children are at risk of losing more than just academic knowledge during the summer—physical fitness levels can also be impacted. Physical health is very important and is known to improve academic performance. Encouraging physical activity during the summer will help your child stay in peak mental form.
- Sign your child up for a team sport
- Encourage learning a new skill such as swimming
- Go on walks and explore your city
- Promote outdoor play
The use of technology offers many opportunities to encourage summer learning. Virtual tools such as educational games and toys are a valuable way to use technology in the summer months. These activities promote essential skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking.
One of the benefits of educational apps and games is their ability to span a variety of topics. If your child needs to work on improving maths, English, or science, select games that are focused on these subjects.
- Challenge your child to a new high score on an educational app
- Start a tech project together such as a toy robotics kit
- Encourage drawing or creating art on tech devices
Research shows creative activities can increase academic and emotional success by improving higher-level thinking and skill development. Creative activities can directly improve skills in subjects such as English and Art.
- Buy a journal for your child and encourage daily creative writing
- Find art projects and crafts for your child to try
- Decorate cookies or cupcakes
- Buy or print colouring pages
Get The Whole Family Involved
Involving the whole family can make learning seem less like a chore. It’s also a great way to spend time with your child, encourage positive self-esteem, and make learning fun and stress-free. An added benefit is valuable family bonding time!
- Organise family game nights with brain-strengthening games such as Scrabble, Cranium, and card games.
- Watch educational T.V. shows and documentaries together
- Find different recipes to try, letting your child find and measure ingredients
Take a Break
Parents need a break too! The summer holidays can be very stressful, especially for parents, as usual schedules are disrupted. Some tips to avoid such stresses are:
- Try to stick with your normal boundaries around discipline but be aware that your child’s behaviour may slip as routines change
- If you feel like you are going to lose your temper, try to take a few deep breaths to clear your head for a calmer response. Even changing your surroundings can help! The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed the children will be.
Back to School
Prepare for school to start by helping your children reestablish their school year habits.
- Readjust your child´s sleep schedule
- Start talking about friends in their class and familiarising them with casual school related conversations to get them in the right headspace
- Keep in mind that it is normal for your children to express their feelings about going back to school and for them to feel a bit sad – this will most likely fade as soon as they arrive at the school and see their mates. Talking about these things during play or at bath time can be a good distraction and a way for you to gauge how they are.
Text written by Vicky Green, ALN & EAL Teacher (Secondary) at British School of Málaga