The birds are up much earlier; the sunshine is lingering later in the day, and kids across the nation are home for the months that many parents struggle with: June, July, and August. From wondering how to keep kids occupied to the never-ending quest for snacks and adventure, summertime can be a great time of both memory and stress—but it doesn't have to be.
While kids are hoping their summer is filled with excitement, most parents have to work or have obligations. Keeping their family productive in the right ways can stress out even the most seasoned of parents. In-between summer camps, pool days, and back-to-school events, what can parents do to keep children actively learning over summer?
Public School Review says keeping kids active prevents "brain drain" where kids lose valuable learnings over the hot, water-filled months.
"According to research, over the course of summer vacation, students lose between 2 to 2 ½ months of math skills from the previous year's learning. This loss of computational understanding is experienced by children regardless of their background or family income. Some students also experience significant setbacks in reading ability as well."
Combined with coming out from under a pandemic and sleep schedules changing, many families find it difficult to keep a schedule over summer because of a myriad of reasons. One study by the Brookings Institute found that learning loss during the pandemic continues to be compounded by summer break- making the summer slide even more of an issue than in the past.
"The cumulative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students' academic achievement has been large. We tracked changes in math and reading test scores across the first two years of the pandemic using data from 5.4 million U.S. students in grades 3-8. We focused on test scores from immediately before the pandemic (fall 2019), following the initial onset (fall 2020), and more than one year into pandemic disruptions (fall 2021)."
This makes it even more important to acknowledge the vital decision of keeping kids learning over the summer. Looking for resources to help your family connect, create and explore this summer? Check these out...
- The National PTA offers a step-by-step guide to learning over the summer. Check it out here.
- The National Summer Learning Association has an entire page dedicated to summer learning. From road trips to activities specific to teens, their kit is available here.
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children offers various activity ideas, blogs, recipes, and more on its website.