Preventing learning loss in your children over Summer
The summer holidays are here again, which we all know means there are six whole weeks to fill with activities for the kids. But what you might not know, is how much educational ground children can lose over this time. Whilst Americans reported that students lose between 25%-30%* of their knowledge over the holidays, a UK survey**, in 2016, revealed that 75% of parents noticed their child’s academic ability slip over the summer break. Their classes may have stopped, but it shouldn’t mean their learning does too.
Learning loss is something that can have an overwhelming effect academically on children, but it’s all too easy to hand children a phone or tablet to entertain themselves. To combat learning loss, experts say parents should encourage educational activities that can be done in a fun and engaging way to promote learning. And the best part is, children often don’t realise they are doing it!
“It’s all about finding that balance" says Steve Woolley of local in-home tutoring company, Tutor Doctor Loughborough. “Just because it’s the summer holidays, it doesn’t mean that education has to switch off. It’s completely normal – and surprisingly easy – for parents to incorporate learning into their everyday activities, whether it’s adding up the shopping bill or creating an itinerary for the summer getaway.”
Here are Steve’s top tips for promoting learning over the summer:
1. Reading doesn’t have to be boring! Some students will be happy sitting down to read a fiction book, but for those that aren’t, why not get them researching your holiday destination – whether that’s in the UK or overseas. Finding out about a place and its history can be a good way of turning "boring reading" into a fun activity.
2. Keep a diary. Not only does free-form writing help build a vocabulary, it helps to develop their thought processes and really start to articulate how they feel. Even if you’re not going away on holiday, they can still document their days: describing the activities they do, the places they visit and people they meet.
3. Budget the holiday spending money. Encourage children to practice budgeting your holiday money so you have enough to last. Ask them to allocate funds for every member of the party, as well as factoring in any activities you have planned. Children usually love doing this as it gives them a sense of responsibility. It also means they’re using everyday maths skills in a useful way.
4. Play board games. The holidays are a perfect time to play some board games as a family. Not only is it a great time to bond, but it can provide hours of entertainment for everyone. Games such as Scrabble or Monopoly are ideal for children to practice their spelling and counting skills without realising they are doing so.
5. Get them in the kitchen. Encouraging children into the kitchen with you this summer might be difficult if the weather is nice, but it can be the perfect opportunity to practice a whole host of different skills. Reading and following recipes, measuring out ingredients and using their maths and science skills to make a meal or cake. You’ll also get the chance to promote kitchen safety, such as holding knives and operating the oven – which are invaluable life skills too.
6. Develop their green fingers. If the summer does offer us some nice weather, getting children outside, and into the garden is a great way to keep both mind and body active. Children can learn all sorts; from the growth process of plants and figuring how much water they need, to key facts about all of the different species. It might not be something they use academically but entertaining them with different activities and learning techniques can help to keep their brain active.
Steve says: “Learning can be implemented in many ways to minimise learning loss over the holidays. Promoting education and supporting children throughout the summer can also help ease them back into things once they arrive back at school for the new year. Entertaining children can be expensive, but that doesn't have to be the case. If you take the time to research what you’ve got available around the home, it doesn't have to cost anything"
For more information on various topics including promoting summer learning, helping to build children’s resilience and the importance of developing their learning mindset, listen to the Tutor Doctor podcast: http://tutordoctor.buzzsprout.com/197553/1330606-how-to-keep-kids-learning-in-the-summer-months
For more information or to speak with Steve directly, please contact Liam on 07395 641 523 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Images attached: variety of infographics on summer learning; Steve with his car.