Summer learning loss is a real concern for children all over the U.S. Kids can lose as much as 50% of whatever they learned the year before. When they start school again, they have to relearn what they’ve forgotten. Students who fail to catch back up quickly could fall seriously behind. If you can ensure that your kids retain information, heading back to school in the fall won’t be as difficult. Let’s look at five ways you can prevent summer learning loss and have some fun in the process.
1. Use Learning Apps
The great thing about learning apps is that they make education fun. You can find a variety of apps that are either free or available for a small fee. For courses and videos to help with learning, you can also check out YouTube. Put a limit on the amount of time your kids can play on their apps. It helps if you break up the time so that they can absorb and retain the information more easily.
2. Take Fun Family Field Trips
The beauty of learning is that it involves connecting new information to older information. Building upon the curriculum that has already been absorbed can come in many ways. For example, you can take a trip to a museum or other fun-filled, educational destination. Nature is also a wonderful venue. Your child will be presented with new information that reminds them of what they have previously learned. The experience will help to refresh and reinforce the knowledge they’ve already acquired. In addition, outings are generally fun for the entire family. Even adults are capable of learning something new. Think of other ways to make your trip enjoyable through music, activities and places to eat.
3. Talk About What Your Kids Have Learned
It’s fun to see what your children are learning and compare that to what you learned as a child. You might remember being drilled on multiplication tables or tested on the 50 states and their capitals. The more your kids recall of subjects they studied in the past year, the better their minds will retain the information. Each time you recall a piece of knowledge, the connections your brain has made to retrieve that information strengthens. That fact can be remembered more and more quickly each time. Even asking, “What did you learn today?” helps kids to retain information better. Talk often about what they’ve learned, the subjects they like most and what they want to learn in the future. Teach them that a few answers lead to more and more questions.
4. Encourage Your Kids to Read
Some kids drag their feet when asked to read, but reading doesn’t have to be a bore. If your kids are into reading, that’s great. If they would rather have cavities filled by a dentist, you need to change their minds. Reading isn’t a chore; it’s fun. Start by letting them choose a subject that fascinates them, and then help them select a topical book. It can be about dinosaurs, space exploration or anything else that piques their interest. You can take it a step beyond this by creating a fun place for your kids to read. It can be a makeshift fort with a beanbag for them to recline on, a canopy around their bed or a pleasant bay window, anywhere they would enjoy sitting to read. Arrange for a weekly book club meeting. Serve cookies and lemonade. Ask your children questions about what they think is coming next in their books or what they like about them.
5. Hold Spelling Bees
Some kids like spelling bees while others shy away from them. However, you can make this activity fun. Challenge your kids with words they learned during the year, and give them new words as well. Present them with both small and large rewards for the words they’ve learned. You can give them a treat for mastering 10 words, take them for ice cream when they’ve mastered 20, buy them a game for 50 and take them to a water park for mastering 100 words. They’ll be excited to meet the challenge. Be sure to start small so they can build their confidence as they increase their vocabulary.
At North Valley Christian Academy, we focus on providing enriching educational material in a Christ-centered environment for the students of Phoenix. We offer online courses, and we’re accredited by AdvancEd and National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA). Our curriculum covers academics, STEM courses, fine arts and athletics. Contact us today regarding admissions or any additional information.