Summer Doesn’t Mean Your Child’s Brain Should Be On Vacation Too. With the end of the year quickly approaching, many students have thoughts of summer vacation! Time spent at the park, playing outside, pool time, and loose schedules are things I look forward to too! However, those three months can be three very long months to little brains.
Summer Doesn’t Mean Your Child’s Brain Should Be On Vacation Too
I have been a special education teacher for 17 years! (Ouch! I’m showing my age!) There has not been one year where I haven’t seen some regression in skills from my elementary-age kiddos.
Be it my first graders to fifth graders, without the daily practice of school time, students lose just a bit of what they learned the previous year.
However, you can help them this summer, by preventing the big slide backward that can sometimes occur with three months off!
Check out these tips on how to encourage summer learning with kids at home.
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Quick Learning Summer Activities For Kids
Now, I know you don’t want them to lose out on valuable summer free time.
Below are some short, quick activities you can do to keep the brain neurons firing and creative juices flowing!
Many of these suggestions I provide to parents at the end of the year for my own students.
Review Fact Flashcards
Math facts are the first to go over the summer! I don’t know what takes their place of them, perhaps some Minecraft strategies, I don’t know. Spend 10-15 minutes a day reviewing addition, subtraction, or multiplication depending on your child’s grade level. There is a great site, TheMathWorksheetSite.com, where you can create worksheets if you would like. This is a paid subscription site, but they do have some free materials available.
Have Your Child Read 20 Minutes a Day
Keep a reading log and celebrate increments of 100, 200, and 300 minutes. Set goals for the summer of the number of minutes to read. Libraries have fantastic summer reading programs! Our local library has one and so does Barnes and Noble.
Print out our Free Summer Reading Bingo Cards
Keep A Summer Journal For Writing Practice
Have your child keep a summer journal of all of the fun and exciting things they do over the break. I love when my students come back and show me their journals the following school year! They practice their writing and have a nice memento of the summer! Reinforce good writing mechanics and structure.
Teacher stores have wonderful summer workbooks. Our school sells the Summer Bridge Books specific to each grade level. They are an ideal resource to have for your child! My daughter enjoys tracking her progress in the provided charts. Again, a few minutes each day is fine! (The pages are designed for a page a day, I believe.)
Designated Learning Area In Your Home
Have a spot in your home designated for “school”. A corner with a desk, chair, pencils, crayons, etc. It is much easier to “get your work done” if you have a desirable space to do it in!
LIMIT COMPUTER/iPad time! This is one of my biggest requests! Please limit the amount of time your child plays on the computer, IPAD, or any other electronic device! (Unless, of course, they are doing something educational…..then it’s ok.
What Should My Child Work On During The Summer?
- For grades K-1, work on identifying coins. (Quarter, Dime, Nickel, Penny) and they are worth. This can be quite fun with the many excursions that take place over the summer! I know we practice this all the times with trips to the grocery store, pool, and Dairy Queen! (Our most favorite place to practice!)
- For grades 2-5, work on both identifying coins and counting coins. With the new Common Core Standards, money is not really covered until third grade. I find this disheartening when it used to be taught in first and second grade. Fourth and fifth graders can work on counting up to make a change, counting money, etc.
As you can see there are many benefits of keeping your kids learning all summer long.
Creating a fun learning environment will not only encourage your kids to want to keep learning and practicing during the summer, but it will benefit them once school is back in session in the fall.
You Are Also Going To Love:
If you loved these Tips On How To Encourage Summer Learning at Home, then you will also love the following summer learning tips I have put together for you:
What ways are you planning on keeping your child’s brain active this summer?
Yes, yes, yes! I am going into my 8th year of teaching, and it only took one year to learn how much information is lost over summer breaks. This is a fantastic list!!!!!
Aww. Thanks so much! My students have taught me just as much as I have taught them over the years!
These are all such fantastic ideas. As a teacher I am always trying to keep the learning going throughout the year. I love your suggestions of reading and journaling–this is a great keepsake as well. Happy Summer and thanks for devoting so much of your life to teaching–I know what a challenge it is!
Melissa scheid says
Aww. Thanks so much! I truly love what I do! Enjoy your summer!
Same to you! Enjoy your summer! I’m hoping to catch up on some Math interventions that align with the Common Core Standards….good times! 🙂
Anita Utami says
Hi Melissa, what a great post! Although my toddler is not in school yet, I found your post very helpful. It gives me idea how to incorporate education with playing time. I am guilty of letting my toddler watch shows on the iPad, so I am trying to rectify that. I love the idea of having a corner where you can sit down with your kids. I will call that corner “learning corner.” Thanks again for the great ideas!
You are so welcome!
It’s great being a teacher that long. This shows your passion for teaching and your love for kids as well. It’s not easy to teach those youngsters how to read and practice math! There’s a lot of patience required. I salute you for that. 🙂 There are so many activities to help them fuel their mind.
Thank you! I love what I do! No day is the same!
These are excellent ideas! I like to take the first two weeks off and just enjoy fun things and each other. Then after that I try to incorporate teachings into each day.
Oh, me too! Though I already find myself thinking about next year! It’s hard to turn the “teacher” mind off!
It never ceases to amaze me how much education can be fitted into a normal Summertime day at home. My boys are keen learners and always asking questions, they are a delight to teach! Lovely ideas for everyone to use!
I agree with you 100%. We read every single day during the summer and we do a workbook. It is so important to keep your kids in the mode of learning so they don’t fall behind when school starts back.
This gives me great ideas even for my toddler. We have alphabet and number flash cards so I should use those more often. I should also make sure to read to him 20 minutes a day. That is a good benchmark for us this summer. We are going back to daycare and preschool in the fall. I am grateful for that so I have more time to myself! 🙂
Awesome! Have your little one practice counting things around the house or backyard. You can even make word cards for things around the house. Label the bedroom door “door”, the window, TV, etc. Your little one will make the visual connection to the item…. 🙂 Have a great summer!
Christa Brown says
Hi Victoria! I’m visiting from Family Fun Friday. Your post caught my eye because I had just written a post about summer learning a couple of weeks ago. It looks like we are doing some of the same things! I love how you have broken down some of the activities by grade levels. I agree with you on being disheartened that Common Core doesn’t have kids learning money until 3rd grade. Thankfully as a now homeschooling teacher I can teach it when I want. Lovely post and happy summer!
Fi Ní Neachtáin says
I fully agree with you, summer holidays shouldn’t mean that children should take a break from learning, if anything it should entice them to learn more. There’s nothing better than reading a book in the garden on a warm summers day and I bet kids would discover that quickly. Nature walks are also a great thing to do during the summer, learning about wildlife and all the different flowers in bloom.
Great post! summer is a time where children get a break, and they deserve one but should still be mentally active. I heard summer slide is real so parents should incorpate fun ways to allow children to learn over the summer.