Guest blog post by Susan Wallace
Summer vacation is quickly approaching, and two months can be quite a long break away from learning. Usually, students lose approximately two months’ worth of reading and math skills during the summer break. Over half of the overall achievement gap between higher- and lower-income youth can be attributed to unequal access to summer learning (or lack thereof). Moreover, around a quarter of teachers take about two months just re-teaching materials taught the previous year.
However, by having your students engage in the 6 learning activities described below, you can ensure that they remain engaged in learning during the summer break and prevent summer learning loss.
1. Summer Learning Events
Offer your students a list of exciting summer learning events. You can browse online on the various summer event camps and summer learning programs which allow your students to interact with other individuals effectively while learning. Whether it is distinct summer learning challenges or education camps and reading days, you can find tons of educational opportunities to suit kids of any age.
What’s more, you can also recommend free reading programs with rewards and incentives. In fact, all you need is do some research within your area on these events and subsequently share that with your students’ guardians. Usually, the local library will generally host one, while you can also check the local universities and colleges for such.
2. Summer Day Camps
Numerous local places usually hold summer day camps for kids of various ages starting from kindergarten all up! You can check out multiple areas such as regular museums, children, museums, universities, junior colleges, as well as numerous larger tutoring facilities. Usually, most of these centers will offer writing/reading camps, science and math camps, not to mention technology-based camps such as coding and robotics.
Such types of will typically cost money, and as such, be sure of your audience before you make your suggestions. Nonetheless, some organizations such as the Girls and Boys Clubs will offer some inexpensive summer (day) camps options also.
3. Encourage Your Students to Write a Daily Summer Journal
Have all your students keep an exclusive daily journal where they record their everyday summer experiences. Why? This will ensure their writing and reading skills remain sharp.
4. Summer Reading Challenge
Reading is among the easiest ways of keeping the mind of a student engaged, especially during such a long holiday or break from the traditional structured learning activities. Nonetheless, while students and parents delight in reading during summer, however, doing the same old thing each day can undoubtedly get boring.
Nevertheless, you can spice things up by introducing a summer reading challenge! Yes, just as with daily journals, you can have your students report back with a completed Summer Reading Challenge and in return maybe offer a reward or treat such as a special lunch with their favorite teacher or a treasury box as a present.
Alternatively, you can encourage your students to browse various online websites, not just to find out how they can get assignments done online or even find the best summer events, but to also look for exciting Summer Reading Challenges which they can enroll in and participate!
Finally, you can also come up with a suggested (summer) reading list and send it to your students’ homes. If you are concerned that your students may have a challenge deciding on what to read, suggest that they visit their local libraries. Numerous libraries host reading competitions which kids can actively participate in not to mention reading programs that can ensure your students remain engaged throughout their summer break.
5. Expand Their Knowledge
You can encourage your students to take some time off their summer vacation to visit art museums, or even science, history, or natural history museums. Also, you can suggest that they visit an aquarium or zoo. Numerous museums across the nation have a day or so per week that offers reduced or free admission.
By doing so, they can take full advantage of museum classes and education programs such as painting, photography, pottery, scientific experimentation, or bird watching classes. You can encourage your students’ parents to enroll their kids in any of these classes.
Moreover, several kitchen stores also offer cooking classes designed for parents and children-either separately or together. Similarly, you can also recommend that parents encourage their kids to try out new classes such as trampoline, music, gymnastics, dance, or even karate classes.
Usually, the first classes are free and considering that summertime can mean low attendance, it is as such an excellent time to explore new, enjoyable, and educational activities. This way, the kids can broaden their skills and boost their knowledge.
6. Encourage Volunteering
Finally, one of the best ways you can encourage your older students to remain active within the community during the long summer period is through encouraging them to volunteer to various local organizations.
Typically, volunteering offers valuable experiences by aiding students to develop unique leadership skills. What’s more, volunteering helps them gain essential job skills and expose them to potential career opportunities as well as assist them in creating their professional connections in the community.
Supporting your students as well as their hard work during summer is significantly essential. Part of this, particularly for the relatively younger crop of students, is subsequently supporting their parents. This you can do by providing the parents with specific suggestions or ideas to explore.
Surprisingly, that can effectively ensure higher participation-don’t just presume they are aware of the various choices available out there! In essence, if you offer your students’ engaging and entertaining ways to practice writing and reading over the summer break, you’ll be surprised that they may just go ahead and do it!
About the author:
Susan Wallace has written numerous articles on education. She has shown that the traditional methods of learning are flawed in many ways. Students and parents around the world have benefited from her articles.