Kids wait all year to spend the summer months relaxing. While they deserve the break, it’s also important that they don’t forget everything they’ve learned throughout the school year.
Mary Marano, a family therapist at Life and Family Counselling Services in Toronto, says it’s common for kids to experience learning losses over the summer. In fact, children lose up to 20 per cent of what they learn in school.
“Summertime is when families go on holiday and kids are not engaging in educational activities so they tend to forget about learning,” says Mary.
Here are three ideas, courtesy of Mary, that will help your kids retain what they’ve learned in school over the summer:
Prepare with their teacher
Mary suggests asking your child’s teacher for a package of exercises they can do over the summer. Your child can use this guide to review and practice lessons in their spare time. Also, it helps with that famous saying, “I’m bored.”
Keep kids alert
“It’s important to try and maintain as much structure as you can over the summer,” says Mary. Your kids still need to stick to a regular routine – which means they shouldn’t sleep in late or watch a lot of television. Keep a consistent bed time routine. Also, minimize the amount of time they spend on the computer or TV. Try taking them out on educational outings instead.
Make it fun
“Learning doesn’t have to be brain boot camp. [Engage them in] fun activities and puzzles where the brain is still getting excited,” says Mary. Place them into a summer reading program at the local library. It gives them a chance to make new friends and get incentives for reading a variety interesting books. Also, use activity books or educational video games to keep kids occupied while travelling.
However, remember that your kids need to rest their brains during the summer. Don’t overload them with learning and give them some time to relax and just have some fun.