What is Learning Loss Over Summer?
The term “use it or lose it” doesn’t just apply to your employer’s vacation policy. It can also be associated with cognitive performance. Learning loss over summer break has been a concern for parents and educators for many years. In a study from Brown University, it was reported that the average student lost 17–34% of the prior year’s learning gains during summer vacation. So how can you prevent the reversal of the progress your child has made and beat the summer slide? Read on for some suggestions to create a fun and educational summer to build on the skills your child has developed.
Summer Outdoor Learning Activities
With warm, sunny weather and longer days, summer is the perfect time for children to ditch their iPads and head outside for some vitamin D. There are endless summer outdoor learning activities for them to participate in such as:
- Planting a small vegetable garden. Gardening is a great educational activity where kids can learn about the importance of sunshine, water, and nutrients for plants. It also provides an opportunity to talk about the health benefits of each vegetable.
- Practicing handwriting with chalk. Draw large letters with chalk and have your child trace or copy them. This will also help build their hand-eye coordination and letter recognition skills.
- Going on a nature scavenger hunt. Create a scavenger hunt to encourage kids to find items in the yard by color, texture, or size. Once they’re done, you can discuss more about what they found such as what type of tree a leaf came from or about the different rock types and how they were formed. Nature scavenger hunts are one of the easiest summer outdoor learning activities your child can participate in and have fun doing it!
Educational Day Trips
Visiting a local zoo, farm, museum, nature center or even the state capitol are all perfect places to engage children to learn more about what they see. Whether it is learning about animal behavior or your state’s history, these places offer an opportunity to build on what they may have learned in the classroom, and to ask open-ended questions to discuss with you.
Visit your local library to find books on topics that make your child excited. Do they love dinosaurs? What about outer space? Chances are, your library will have an assortment of books on the topics that interest your child. Not only does reading help build literacy skills, books can also introduce new words and ideas for them to discover.
Crafts & Science Experiments
Doing crafts and science experiments emphasize hands-on learning experiences that can keep your child engaged and build on their skills, such as problem solving. Hands-on learning activities can help children spark new interests and build their curiosity on the world around them.
By providing learning experiences and activities for your child after the school year is over, you can help prevent learning loss over summer. They may even discover new interests that can help keep them engaged when learning more about the topics in the next school year. eAchieve’s online elementary school program offers a variety of courses for grades K-5. We invite you to learn more about our program and our enrollment options.