School is out for the summer! Now what?! How to avoid the summer brain drain!

While kids look forward to summer all school year, it’s still important that we keep our kids learning even when they aren’t attending school every day. Summer learning loss is a real phenomenon! The National Summer Learning Association says that, on average, students can lose up to two months of learning. Not only that, most teachers spend at least 3 weeks re-teaching skills from the previous school year.

It can certainly be a challenge to keep kids both physically and mentally active during the summer days and they may need some encouragement. Parents play a key role in filling gaps over the summer. Learning loss is much less pronounced in families that visited the library, participated in summer reading programs, or took part in free educational community activities.

We know that most kids won’t willingly sit down to complete a workbook or study their flashcards so the real question is – how do we keep our kids wanting to learn? Make it fun!

  • Encourage your child to practice their creative writing skills by writing a play to perform with their friends or a fun story to read to the family.
  • While you’re traveling have your kids write letters to their friends or send postcards to family members from all your fun vacation spots.
  • Use road trips as a time to learn. Study maps, estimate how long the trip may take, play the license plate game, and look up fun facts about the states.
  • Have them set a summer reading goal with a special treat at the end. You can even start a family book club!
  • Cook together! Practice measurements, fractions, and following directions. You could even pick recipes from different cultures.
  • Encourage a new hobby or trying something new. Have your child set some summer goals!
  • Work together on a building project – such as a robot building kit, a new lego structure, or get creative with household items to build a fort.
  • Have a family game night. Play games that involve strategy or planning and have your child keep score. Find trivia games that keep everyone guessing.
  • Take a nature walk or have a night of star gazing.
  • Incorporate math – count shells at the beach, look for different shapes at the playground, or keep track of the score of the soccer game.
  • Encourage creativity and keep them drawing, coloring, painting, and just creating.
  • Give the kids control of a day! Give a budget, allow them to pick an activity, make the plans, and figure out how to make it all possible.

With these fun activities the kids won’t even notice that you’re sneaking a little learning into their playtime! We also have to remember that physical health is important to maintain. Encourage your child to play outside, go on a family bike ride, or get out and explore your city together!

Have fun and spend time together. Have a great summer!

By Amanda Beyland, Therapist for The Wise Family

Learn more about Amanda here! She’s our featured clinician of the month!

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