Even if you’ve never heard the phrase “summer learning loss”, as a parent you’ll probably have seen its impact. The long summer holiday is a time for children to relax and enjoy themselves, but it can also be a time when they forget much of the knowledge they worked so hard to gain during the school year. Studies have estimated that children can lose a month or more of progress over the course of the holidays.
But the summer slump isn’t inevitable. What’s more, averting learning loss can be fun for your child and for you.
One way you can help is to promote learning in the activities your child would be doing anyway. For instance, a shopping trip can provide an opportunity for some fun maths challenges – can your child tot up the cost of each item at the supermarket? Getting to the till, they’ll find out how close they came.
If you have more time, you can look into cool science experiments that you can carry out at home. The summer offers plenty of time to learn about biology by growing interesting plants (Venus Fly Traps and sensitive plants are usually winners), or about Chemistry with the classic ‘Mentos and Soda’ experiment (just make sure to stand well back). Depending on the age of your child, you can introduce scientific concepts such as forming and testing a hypothesis, or defining and adjusting variables.
You can also explore educational excursions, such as museum visits or trips to the theatre. Keep an eye out for anything that relates to what your child has been studying in school; for instance, a child who has been enjoying learning about the Vikings might well find that an exhibition of Viking artefacts helps to bring the period to life.
That said, none of these activities need to be focused around a particular school subject, or tailored towards revision or your child’s school curriculum. You can simply draw on what interests them most, including subjects like Geology or Psychology that they may not yet have started at school.
Most children’s hobbies, be they reading, writing stories, painting or even playing certain video games, can help to keep your child’s mind engaged over the summer months. What’s important is that they enjoy themselves while they’re learning, and that they then return to school in the autumn refreshed and ready to pick up where they left off at the end of term.
How can The Education Hotel help?
If your child is struggling with any of the issues mentioned in this article and you’re seeking advice on what to do next. Take a look at our Education Advice Service…