By: Guest Author
When summer approaches, many homeschool parents and kids are equally ready to put away the books and prepare for a fun break. Unfortunately, this time outside of the classroom can create an academic regression that leaves kids without essential knowledge retention when the school year starts again. Come August, students can even forget the equivalent of a month’s worth of lessons.
You don’t want all your hard work this year to go to waste — which is why it’s essential to take action as early as possible to prevent summer learning loss. Here’s what summer slide means for your kids and how you can avoid it.
What Does Summer Slide Mean?
What is summer slide? This term refers to the way children can lose school-related information over the summer. When they’re away from school without the chance to learn every day, kids experience a slight decline in memory and retention. Because the degree of summer slide depends on the individual student and their access to resources, some children experience this phenomenon more than others.
For the most part, experts believe that without a push to learn at home, kids may return to school worse off than before. However, it’s possible to educate your kids throughout the summer so they don’t fall behind.
As a homeschool parent, you have an advantage here — you already educate them throughout the school year, so you have the personal resources and experience to keep them learning during the break, too.
The Importance of Summer Learning
How can you go about preventing summer slide? Try to prioritize education throughout your kids’ break. You don’t need to follow your typical lesson plans, but you should set aside time for fun learning methods — whether that means taking field trips or getting involved in outdoor activities. This way, your children are more likely to head back to the classroom with a well-rounded mind. The more learning you can incorporate into your summer plans, the better!
If you emphasize summer education, you won’t need to reteach specific academic subjects down the line. In traditional public schools, this element has become a problem for topics like math. All home-school classrooms are different, and you know your kids best, so be sure to focus on what you want them to learn individually. With this strategy, you’ll cruise through next year’s curriculum.
How to Keep Your Kids Learning This Summer
There are a few ways to address summer slide without keeping your kids cooped up in a classroom. Thankfully, you don’t need to take on too much work. You can all enjoy your summer while your children keep learning. Consider these summer slide activities so your kids can prepare for the fall:
1. Enroll in Summer Camp
Whether in-person or online, summer camps provide a perfect atmosphere for education. You can even choose a themed experience so your child can learn art, science or English specifically. Alongside educators, counselors offer a unique summer excursion where kids can meet friends. If you prefer a more traditional camp, you can also expect your children to discover more about the outdoors. This year, your kids can enroll in online summer camp experiences if your state hasn’t reopened for public activities yet.
2. Organize a Book Club
If you align with other home-school parents, you can host a summer book club to keep summer reading slide at bay. Put together a list of reads you want to get through with your children. Then, set up a time to meet every week, virtually or otherwise. Your kids can share their thoughts and answer related questions. If your children don’t like to read by themselves, they might discover they love to do so with friends.
3. Conduct Science Experiments
Do your kids struggle with science? Now’s a perfect opportunity to work on their knowledge. You don’t need to buy any supplies, either — with a few home objects, you and your children can explore concepts like how air rises. Feel free to take these activities outside, too. You can focus on the animals and plants that live around your area.
Try these suggestions to make sure your kids stay on track for the year. With some effort and dedication, you and your kids can successfully avoid summer learning loss. When the first day of school rolls around, you don’t want to have to go back and reteach lessons.
About the Author
Alyssa Abel is an education and learning writer who talks about strategies for parents, students, and educators. In addition to running and writing for her own college and career blog, she has her work regularly featured on education sites like HerCampus, CollegeXpress, Collegiate Parent, Student Minds, and more. Follow her work on her website, Syllabusy.