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Retain Learning Over the Summer

02/18/2014 02:24PM, Published by Hood Magazine, Categories: Education, Games, Sports & Rec, Arts+Entertainment


Photo courtesy of Washington Pavilion



By Richard E. Bavaria, Ph.D, Sylvan Learning Senior Vice President and Gary Huggins, Chief Executive Officer of the National Summer Learning Association

Image title

When we begin preparing for summer activities, we invariably think of summer learning – what we can do to keep our kids’ brains from turning mushy before the new school year begins. Summer vacation is a time when kids create memories for the future, memories that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, it’s also a time they forget important skills they have acquired from months of schooling. The result of this loss may stay with them for a lifetime. Research shows children usually score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning. In fact, most students lose two months’ worth of math skills each summer. Low-income kids lose another two to three months in reading skills, a loss that puts them far behind their better-off peers. With the growing pressures on today’s educational resources, a two-month loss of learning is just as serious a drain on society as it is on the skills students need to succeed in school – and in life. So what do we do about it? The answer is: Do what summer is made for – have fun. And have fun by learning.

 

From the time they are born, children are hard-wired for learning. They always are looking to be engaged. And the fact is, during summer the pressure is off – it’s actually the perfect time for learning. But it still falls to adults to provide kids with learning opportunities that are fun, different and compelling, and that will help them preserve those important math and reading skills. And there are more opportunities than you might think. Here are a few.

 

Get on your marks and read. Ever heard of DEAR time? It stands for Drop Everything And Read. You can use the same approach that teachers use to make reading fun in the classroom to make reading fun and spontaneous in your home. Get every family member to drop everything, grab a book or Kindle or a tablet, and head out to the porch, or off to a local coffee shop to spend a half hour reading whatever they want. Afterward, everyone takes a few minutes to discuss his or her reading choice.

 

Read the book, then watch the movie. Let your child discover the art of storytelling by comparing and contrasting a movie to the book it’s based upon. Have them tell you about the differences, discuss why changes were made, and decide which version they preferred.

 

Keep statistics. Summertime means soccer, baseball, and other competitive sports. Whether it’s live sports, TV or online, family members can choose teams, keep stats and discuss and compare results. Decide which statistics are the most and least meaningful.

 

Start an argument. What child doesn’t want something? Build his persuasive skills by asking him to create a poster or even a PowerPoint presentation to sell you on the idea. Have him present at least three good reasons that support their argument. Will it save money? Make him demonstrate how. You might even be entertained by what he comes up with.

 

Turn you kids into journalists. Your kids already use social media, posting their every activity and reaction for friends to see. Harness that energy and encourage them to create a family newsletter or webpage where they can report and write up the family’s summer exploits and stay in touch with distant relatives.

 

Do online research. Have them solve a problem or answer a question in detail using online resources. Perhaps give each family member an exotic location to research. Where is it? How many people live there? What language do they speak? Reward the best answers.

 

Be an example. Through it all, no matter which techniques you use to encourage summer learning, make sure your kids see you learning, too. Let them observe you reading, using math, and solving problems by using both sets of skills.

 

Try several of these ideas above. When that first report card of the new school year rolls in, you’ll be glad you did.

 



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    04/08/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA is the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical from the creators...


  • Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA

    04/08/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA Mary W. Sommervold Hall Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA i...


  • Archival Preservation Program

    04/09/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Do you have important documents you would like to preserve? If so, the Old Courthouse Museum w...


  • Stained Glass Concert

    04/09/2017
    02:30PM — 04:30PM

    EVENT OVERVIEW: Join the SDSO for the sixth season of the Stained Glass Series. Experience the...


  • Little All Stars

    04/10/2017
    09:00AM — 09:50AM

    -Ages: Walking - 6 years -10 punches per card -Cards do not expire


  • Sensory Friendly Art & Adventures

    04/10/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    In honor of April being Autism Awareness month, the Center for Disabilities and Museum of Visual ...


  • Playgroup for Toddlers and Preschoolers

    04/10/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Play Groups are specifically for kids and their caregivers. Gather your friends at our “house” to...


  • Latches

    04/10/2017
    06:30PM — 08:00PM

    Breastfeeding takes a village. Nourish your baby in a safe, comfortable place, surrounded by your...


  • The Ransom Church, located at 700 N. Main Ave in downtown Sioux Falls, is sponsoring an "After th...


  • Toddler Time

    04/11/2017
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    If they can walk, they can jump! Toddler Time at Sky Zone is a special time just for the little o...


  • Storytime Tuesdays

    04/11/2017
    10:00AM — 10:30AM

    Bring your kids to a storytime every Tuesday at Child's Play Toys. It starts off with a few songs...


  • Into the Pit

    04/11/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Into the Pit Quarry Tour arrives with another chance to go Into the Pit of a Concrete Materials q...


  • Lapsit

    04/11/2017
    10:30AM — 11:05AM

    Delight and stimulate your baby with songs, stories and playtime. Get to know other families and ...


  • Babywearing for Do-It-Yourself-ers

    04/11/2017
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Monthly on the second Tuesday


  • Join local musician Steve McFarland as he introduces the soothing sounds of the islands on th...


  • Art Journaling for Everyone

    04/11/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Art journaling for EVERYONE! Admission: $15 No artistic skills required. Join Da Vinci, Van Gog...



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