Prevent the Summer Slide
No school, the main reason why kids love summer. To kids no school means all fun and no learning. As a result, kids often lag trying to get back in the swing of learning when they return to school in the fall. The last thing that kids want to do during the summer is continue learning and as a parent the last thing you want to do is push their buttons about it. Summer however is a great time for some really fun learning! So how do you prevent kids from falling behind during summer vacation? Here are some ways that you can keep kids learning this summer and make it fun.
- Start a family book club. Kids won’t enjoy being told to read during the summer. By getting the whole family involved the kid won’t feel like they’re being singled out or forced to read, it will become something fun to do instead of torture. Let the kids pick the books as well. By letting them pick the book they’re more likely to be interested in reading in the first place. Involve snacks, crafts and fun games during book club too. The kids will have even more fun and begin to look forward to reading and learning. If the book is a bit advanced for them read it as a family and then try something like acting it out a second time. In any case, make sure that your child is getting some interactive time with books!
- Have fun in the kitchen. Get your kids involved in the kitchen. Assign them a night once a week where they plan and make dinner (with your help of course). This will get them using numbers, learning to follow directions and do tasks in an order, will help them with their vocabulary and reading and can be a way to educate them about healthy eating. Having kids work in the kitchen is a great way to get them learning.
- Learn a new letter or word. Every week put a new letter or word on the fridge. During the course of the week have your kid keep track of how many times they use the word or see the word. This will help them increase their vocabulary and it will help with counting
- Practice writing. Every other week have your child write a letter about what they’ve been doing this summer and send it to a relative of their choice. This will help them work on their writing skills in a way that is fun for them and will make them feel proud.
- Take them places to explore. Providing an opportunity for a hands on learning experience is always a great way to get kids learning and having fun all in one. Take them to the beach and see how many different shells they can find or take them to the zoo and have them make observations about the different animals and habitats. No matter what, if they're making observations, asking questions or picking up new facts they're learning more than they would spending the afternoon watching their favorite movie again.
- Take the kids to the library. Kids are more likely to take an interest in reading when they see a lot of colorful books in one place and when they get to pick the book themselves. Maybe they saw an animal they really liked during that trip to the zoo, take them to the library to learn more about it. Or, maybe they really want to learn more about the ocean, take them to the library to do some learning before that trip to the beach. Activities are great ways to find things your kids want to learn more about and what better way to learn than through a fun book!
- Make a goal. What is it that interests your child the most? Whatever it is, have them create a goal to complete by the end of each week that focuses on that interest. Maybe its learning a songs to perform in a concert for the family or it could be making a list of things that they’d bring with them if they were an astronaut exploring outer space. This will not only get them using their brains but it will help to encourage them to get involved with their interests or hobbies.
- Get their imagination flowing. Pick a specific topic for the week (animals, shapes, food, etc) and tell your child to find something in the house that fits that theme. Tell them they need to make up a story involving that item in some way, even if a monkey eating a banana is how they incorporate their banana. It will get them thinking outside the box. Another take would be to assign them to educate the family with 5 facts about their weekly item.