Did you know 96 percent of teachers say that each fall, students appear to have forgotten or lost some of the knowledge or skills they learned the previous school year?
But don’t worry, the good news is that 89 percent of parents plan to continue some form of educational activities with their children during the summer. Many of these activities may be things you already do with your children. And, 92 percent of teachers agree that students will be more successful overall if they keep learning during the summer months.
What are the most enjoyable and successful ways to help your children learn while they’re having fun and enjoying their summer?
Here are five ideas to keep your kids’ minds and bodies active all summer, so they’ll be eager to pick up where they left off when the new school year begins.
1. Plan fun field trips.
Take advantage of your community’s attractions, museums or historical sites that offer wonderful learning opportunities, as well as being really fun outings the whole family can enjoy.
Find interesting locations to visit online, involving older children in the search. Use trips to the zoo, farm or museum as learning opportunities by engaging your children in a little pre-trip research, exploring the background of the animals, artwork or history of the location beforehand to get them excited.
Plan what you’ll do when you get there, and follow up with a related activity after you get home. Many family-friendly venues offer learning materials and guides for schools and parents, so call or check their website ahead of your trip!
2. Visit your public library.
Most libraries offer summer reading programs to encourage kids to read, as well as fun events for infants through middle-schoolers.
Older students love choosing their own books and delving into reading for pleasure that they may not have time for during the school year. And all reading helps children develop their vocabulary and reading comprehension.
For a list of activities at the Santa Clarita public libraries, visit www.santaclaritalibrary.com
3. Invest in daily learning activities.
Help your kids retain skills in math, reading and language arts, as well as exploring science, social studies, fitness and character development with Carson Dellosa Education’s Summer Bridge Activities workbooks, available in paperback and as eBooks.
Just 15 minutes a day of fun, age-appropriate activities and hands-on projects help children review skills and knowledge learned the previous year. Then the lessons transition into exploring exciting new levels of learning to prepare them for the coming school year.
Summer Bridge Activities provide recommended reading lists — handy flash cards that are easy to use, even on the go — that engage your child at their reading level and build their self-esteem. Designed for preschool through eighth grade and aligned with state standards, these award-winning, teacher-recommended workbooks include monthly goal-setting to help children work toward a completion certificate for a sense of accomplishment. Pages are numbered for each day, making it easy for kids to complete the activities on their own, with plenty of time left in the day for play!
4. Find summer camps.
Any parent knows that kids thrive with structure, so finding day camps or other group activities your children will enjoy is a terrific idea. Whether built around physical activity, creative pursuits or specific interest, find programs that include skills you want to see your child keep up, like reading, writing, math, science or physical education. Classes that encourage your child’s curiosity and keep them engaged will help your children learn even while they’re socializing and having fun.
The April 28 issue of Sunday Magazine had a special section on Camps and Schools in the Santa Clarita Valley. A digital version of the issue can be found at signalscv.com/sunday.
5. Involve the whole family
If one set of skills or area of knowledge you want your child to develop is not your strong suit, enlist help from a grandparent or other relative to spark your child’s interest. Often learning about hobbies or the career of someone they know has more impact than just telling them that math is useful in real life, for example. Learning how to measure correctly to build a treehouse with grandpa is a great – and practical – lesson in using math skills.
Summer is all about fun and relaxation, but it’s easy to include effective learning with a little planning and creativity. To invest just 15 minutes a day to help your children be ready for the next grade, visit summerbrains.com.