Summer Breaks are most awaited time of the year. With most children, summer spells as ‘FUN’. While this much needed break is great for children to run around and play all they want, it does come with a flip side. Summer slide or summer learning loss is real and very much prevalent across all ages, specially the younger ones.
A summer break of 6 weeks or more could mean a learning loss of a month at school. Children are ought to forget newly acquired skills and knowledge during this period, if not practiced. So should we homeschool during the break? Certainly not! Here are some ways to stop learning loss while maintaining all the summer fun:
1. Plan a Summer Schedule for Kids: It is very important to have a doable, feasible schedule for the kids to prevent summer turning into a learning wasteland. Have a schedule that works around you and your kids and offers plenty of free play.
2. Plant a Vegetable Patch: This one activity will teach your child a lot about science, food and plant life cycle on the academic front and patience and responsibility on the personal front. Starting a small vegetable patch is just one of the numerous plant science activities kids will enjoy.
3. Develop their Culinary Skills: There are ample flame-free recipes which you can try with your child. Engaging children in cooking not only works wonders with their motor skills but also sharpen their mathematical skills. It also teaches them how to measure and follow the instructions step by step. Added benefit: They are more likely to eat what they cook without fussing.
4. Start a journal: This is a great way to get children to write. For younger children let them draw their favorite activity of the day, their moods during the day and one good thing they did. Let them paste family pictures, make collage or decorate their journal the way they want. These journals help children to think for themselves, pen down their thoughts while keeping their creative streak alive.
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5. Set Reading time: Set aside a designated time for reading every day. Allow your child to select the books of their interest (here are some STEM books they might like). Later encourage them to re-narrate the story back to you. This helps in building reading comprehension skills.
6. Visit Museums, Zoos, Art Fairs and Libraries: Summer break is the best time to visit museums, libraries, zoos and art fairs. A lot can be learned during these visits and can keep your child occupied long after they come back.
7. Bring out Board Games: Spend time playing board games with your children. Classical board games like Snakes & Ladders, Ludo, Othello, Chinese Checkers and playing cards are great at building critical thinking, numeracy and logical skills.
8. Plan Visits to Local Farms: Farm visits are great hit with children. Let your city dwellers visit the farm and see how crops are grown and animals are reared. They will amazed to see how a cow is milked and pigs & goats are reared at the farm.
9. Engage in meaningful crafts: Crafts are a great way to nurture creativity. Think of meaningful crafts like a birdfeeder, newspaper bags, cardboard truck or puppet theater. A great way to recycle and reuse, these crafts are awesome fun.
10. Make time for a Sport: Be it swimming, tennis, cricket or simple throw and catch make sure to include one physical activity in the summer bucket list. Sports are a great way for children to learn discipline, team work and inter-personal skills.
Summer breaks provide an enriching opportunity to your children for independent learning. The hot daytime is perfect for many activities listed above. Just with little planning and involvement, the summer learning loss can be made into summer learning fun. Just remember to be creative and have FUN!