We're hearing it in the office from our pediatric patients...school's out for summer! As our kiddos get ready to turn reading and writing to fun and freedom, it got us thinking about what some call "Summer brain drain", and how we can help children hit PLAY instead of PAUSE on learning during the summer months.
Summer learning loss is a real issue in this country, and the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is helping raise awareness on June 19th during Summer Learning Day. Research shows that most students loose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months, and low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement (Cooper, 1996).
So how can we help our kiddos stay engaged and push "play" this summer? We're here to help with a list of fun activities to enrich and engage your child in summer learning!
- Books, books, books! Find books that excite your child and don't be afraid to deviate from teh summer reading list. Finding books that engage and activate interests in children can go beyond reading a book.
- Become adventurous. Activate "project based learning" by finding something in the book(s) that can be applied to your lives. From designing a garden, to visiting a museum, or planning a road trip, you can engage other subjects (math, science, history) all from one story.
- Get "appy"! From educational iPhone/iPad apps to computer games, school age children can have fun and learn at the same time. A computer based program, UMiGO, offers free math "appisodes" for elementary-age kids.
- Get competitive! Join a summer reading challenge through The SF Library or join the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge and Sylvan Book Adventure are free reading programs that allow your little one to compete against themselves to meet reading goals.
- Go beyond academics. There is more to learning than hitting the books. Children can learn social-emotional growth by volunteering with others, participating in summer camps and getting creative with their friends.
Have fun, and keep learning this summer with your little one!