Like the lyrics of a classic rock song—school is out for the summer. Students and teachers alike look forward to this time of year to regenerate and relax. What happens, though, when you are out of a classroom for an extended amount of time? For most students, they find themselves with six to twelve weeks of activity that may not reinforce the skills they developed over the year. In fact, for some students, summer means that upon the new school year they will need several months of review. This event has been deemed the "summer slump" by many academic groups and continues to be an issue for many schools.
To prevent the illusive "summer slump" from happening to children, education advocates and professionals suggest that parent involvement is crucial in ensuring that activities done during the summer can also cultivate skills learned and can be recalled later on successfully. There are many different ways parents can stay involved even if they themselves do not have time off during the break.
Preventing the slump
1. Hands-on activities
Hands-on activities are a staple in learning, especially for STEM disciplines. Children can continue their curiosities outside of the classroom by playing games, doing puzzles, and investigating the world around them right in their very own home. Free resources exist that support continued learning as the push for STEM continues. Where can you find them? You can search online and stumble onto websites like the STEM laboratory, which offers over fifty activities for kids, or browse through Pinterest and other social media groups that offer advice and suggestions for educational activities to do in the summer. Parents and educators love to share their favorite activities so be sure to reach out to your network to see the tried and true best crafts and games sure to entertain your child.
2. Read, read, and read
One of the best ways to ensure your child or children retain vocabulary is by reading with them throughout the summer. Allowing kids to explore different themes can help them push their limits and is a successful way to help expand a child's mind and imagination. Local libraries around the United States typically have campaigns going on to challenge and reward children on their reading progresses or simply attending a story time can help young children. Bookstores don't want to be left behind in their efforts—Barnes and Noble launched an ongoing summer reading campaign back in May that continues and targets all ages, and with additional sharing on social media you can unlock even more summer reading and recommendations.
3. Start a business—no seriously
Starting a business may seem like a hard thing to do, but with the help of parents and other kids, you would be surprised on what children can achieve together. Teach your child the importance of teamwork, math, and other life skills as they embark on an adventure. Who knows? They may be end up like the many kidpreneuers that have found their ideas were the best business plans.
4. Get coding
Another great avenue for children to enhance their math skills and have fun is to learn how to code. Coding is something that is important in many STEM fields, and because of this many education groups have developed camps and workshops focused on making coding fun for kids. Get your child enrolled and watch them flourish in a new skill!
5. Get in the kitchen
Finally, the summer months, for some, can be hot, sticky, and sometimes downright miserable. Take a day inside and teach your child how to bake or cook and get them involved. This will help them learn how to follow instructions, use math skills, and end up with a delicious treat as the end result.
There are many other ways to enhance your child's summer vacation so they can flourish in their next school year. Enjoy the summer, relax, rejuvenate, and take time to learn.