Summer is almost upon us once again, meaning most parents have another 6 weeks to keep their children busy. With an average of 22% of a child’s academic skills lost over the summer, it’s important to try to avoid this learning loss. In fact, due to the impact of school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic, research projects that students will return in September retaining approximately only 63-68% of their learning gains in reading and 37-50% in maths compared to a normal school year. That’s why it’s crucial to find some easy ways to get your kids learning in a non-academic setting. Even half an hour a day dedicated to closing learning gaps with enjoyable and stimulating activities means there’s still plenty of time for summer fun. Here’s some simple hacks parents can use to avoid the summer COVID slide.
Hack 1: Make Reading an Everyday Habit
Reading is one of the most beneficial and enjoyable activities for kids to do throughout the summer holidays - even better it can be done in the comfort of your own home without too much effort. Start by establishing good reading habits a few weeks before the start of the holidays, whether that’s half an hour before bedtime or in the afternoon. Not only is it a fantastic activity to engage your child’s imagination but also helps with literacy skills. Make sure your child is reading books that are both interesting and challenging. Here’s some other ideas to help make reading second nature during the summer break.
- Try the Tutor Doctor Summer Reading Challenge, sure to encourage your kids to consistently read.
- Make an incentivised reading chart.
- Don’t just stick to fiction - reading non-fiction, magazines and comics is still great practice!
- Pack a book wherever you go - we guarantee they’ll have so many chances to pick it up and read.
- Encourage kids to read anything they can out loud to you. This can be a cafe menu, instructions or signs at a public place.
Hack 2: Make Days Out Educational
It’s a great idea to plan a few family day-trips during the summer holidays that can double up as educational too. With zoos and safari park’s now safely open, your kids will be able to have fun at the same time as actively learning. You could even set them tasks to do while you’re there to make the experience even more beneficial. Finally, when you get home, continue the learning process by encouraging your children to explain what they’ve learned.
Hack 3: Work With A Tutor
During the 6-week break, it’s an excellent idea to get your child to work with a tutor to help them get up to date with their learning. Not only will having a tutor give your child dedicated learning time, they can also assist in identifying gaps in knowledge and close them before the schools go back. For more information on our online programs, click here.
Hack 4: Use Maths at Every Opportunity
A simple but effective hack for summer learning is to use maths as often as you can. Not only are maths opportunities all around you but often kids won’t even realise they’re engaging with maths concepts. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
Get Cooking: Following recipes, measuring out ingredients, and understanding ‘how’ to cook uses maths and science skills, whereas reading recipes and shopping lists is great literacy practice.
Guess the Food Shopping Bill: A fun task for kids is giving them your shopping list and getting them to guess the total amount. You could even get them to find the prices online for each item and give you a total beforehand.
Hack 5: Gather Learning Resources Before Summer Starts
Being organised with multiple learning resources will be a lifesaver when you need to keep the kids entertained on a rainy afternoon. There are so many apps, websites, and videos out there that can help kids practice maths, English, science and more, all while having fun. We recommend creating a word doc and keeping all of your resources in a list, dividing by subject. Here’s some educational resources to get your list started:
Hack 6: Set Some Summer Projects
A great hack for parents is to set some summer long projects. Not only will they keep them busy for a longer period of time but it will mean they’ll always have something to be getting on with, even if you’re busy. Sit down together and brainstorm some ideas that are going to give them a sense of accomplishment when it comes to the end of the summer. Here’s a few projects ideas:
A summer journal: Encouraging your child to start a summer journal is a great way for them to practice their writing skills. Remember to keep guidelines fairly laid back - you want them to want to write regularly. Instead, ask them to write about anything they’re interested in or just keep a track of their summer break. If they want to create something a little more creative, a scrapbook with photos, drawings and annotations is a wonderful idea.
A vegetable garden: Growing a vegetable garden from scratch will be sure to keep your kids busy all summer long and beyond! It’s also an easy way to incorporate learning, as they’ll need to understand nature and the science behind growing plants. Give them the responsibility to water them regularly and to take photos of their progress so they can look back and see how far their garden has grown.
Hack 7: Use Arts and Crafts For Learning
Creative arts and crafts not only help with children’s learning but they’re also linked to improved health and well-being. Even better it’s a fun, easy activity for kids to get involved in that doesn’t really feel like learning. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of supplies so they can use their imagination and paint or create their own masterpieces. We recommend saving as many cereal, egg and cardboard boxes as possible - you’ll be needing them! Our recent blog post has some brilliant art and craft ideas that actively encourage learning.
Recent Articles To Help Parents Beat The Summer COVID Slide:
Learning At Home Strategies
How To Build Learning Into Everyday Activities
Ways You Can Get Your Kids Excited About Maths