Did you know that over the course of summer vacation, students can lose academic skills and knowledge that took 180 days of instruction to learn? In most cases, teachers will spend four to six weeks re-teaching material that was not retained during the eight weeks of summer vacation. Students who continue learning during the summer will be more successful in the long run. We’ve put together a few tips to help you keep your child engaged in learning this summer.
Students can lose more than two months of math knowledge during the summer. Incorporate math lessons at home by teaching your child to cook with step-by-step instructions and recipes. Cooking with Kids has measurement reminders, safety tips and information for involving children in the cooking process. Practice math skills in the car by calculating time and mileage. When you eat out, have your child help calculate the tip.
Encourage your child to keep a journal during the summer. Journal writing is a great way for your child to express feelings and creativity while practicing writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Motivate your child to write a short story, screenplay or a biography about a family member.
Reading and Spelling
An adventure is waiting for you at the public library. Keep your child engaged by exploring different topics and let your child pick books that interest him or her. Library cards are free, and you can borrow books, CDs, DVDs and audiobooks. Reading not only expands your child’s vocabulary, but it keeps his or her cognitive abilities sharp. Encourage your child to start a book club with neighborhood friends.
Learn about National Parks, monuments and historic sites at WebRangers. Children can customize their Ranger Station, solve mysteries, solve puzzles, learn history, play games and earn rewards.
Local Field Trips
The Valley has many museums, zoos and cultural events that you can visit and attend to keep learning alive such as the Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona Science Center, the Phoenix Children’s Museum and much more. Make the most of your trip by asking thought-provoking questions about what your child has learned. Have your child write or create a drawing about his or her experiences.
Visit art museums and art walks to get inspiration for an art project whether it’s creating a painting, drawing, ceramics or photography. Encourage your child to experiment with different art mediums and to learn about different artists and techniques.
Learning about science can be as easy as going to your backyard. During the day, children can identify insects, birds, animals and plants. At night, you can stargaze and map out constellations. Summer in the Valley brings monsoons and dust storms, which makes it easy to track the weather. If you have a garden, have your child measure and track the growth of the plants.
Physical Activity and Healthy Eating Habits
Establish a fitness routine and healthy eating habits before the summer. Find activities that you can do as a family such as walking, riding a bike or swimming.
If you are going on vacation this summer, have your child help with the research and planning of the trip. If you are planning a road trip, ask your child to view the map, view the route you plan to take and identify the states you will be visiting.
Set aside quiet time for your child to work in workbooks. Purchase books at big box stores or online. Skills gained throughout the school year will be easily retained by encouraging this activity.
However you decide to spend summer vacation, PVSchools hopes that you have a safe, fun and relaxing time off while learning continues to happen.