Avoid Summer Learning Loss
For most children, summer is a time to leave classes and homework behind. While summer is a holiday from school, it does not have to be a holiday from learning. The summer holiday is great for recharging your children’s batteries, because if they are not using the skills and knowledge that was learned in the classroom, they will find themselves lagging behind when school starts up again.
When they return to school in September after the long summer break, students can find themselves struggling to catch up. Skills and knowledge gained throughout the school year fade during the summer months. At I Love to Learn, we have found that loss of content retention begins within 24 to 48 hours of learning unless the new information is reinforced or applied immediately. That is why, during summer holidays, even the best students forget some of the lessons they had learned during the school year. After a month without reinforcement, approximately 80 percent of what a student has recently learned can be lost.
Now it is also true that children do need a break to rest and do other things. In fact most learning does rebound after the holiday to overtake the previous level.
For children who have struggled in school, summer is an invaluable opportunity to catch-up on key skills and feel more confident when they return to class. For students who do well, it is an opportunity to keep their enthusiasm for learning high.
FUN SUMMER LEARNING TIPS
We never stop learning so here are some ideas to help encourage our children’s learning and have some fun this summer.
Learn about time: allow children to be the family timekeeper and get them to wear a watch every day.
Learn about money: do a car boot sale with your children or they could start their own business (e.g. making and selling lemonade).
Learn about measurement: read recipes, use scales and cook delicious food together.
Learn about the past: by letting them interview grandparents or an elderly neighbour. This can really bring ‘history’ to life.
Improve your writing: by encouraging them to keep a diary every day. Children can maintain their writing skills and capture many memories for the future.
Practice your reading: Take part in the Library Service reading challenge which rewards children for reading a minimum number of books.
Also, as the new school year approaches it may be useful to discuss routines and agree how to organise time, work and anything else which need to be done.
Finally, if they still complain about being bored, try saying “well I guess I haven’t given you enough chores yet!” and see what happens.
Summer Learning Loss can be significant:
Summer Learning Loss can be worse for poorer children
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