Summer is a time to relax, disconnect and enjoy the weather outside. However, completely switching off and stashing your child’s school books under the bed comes with a risk. Although most children would prefer to forget all about their schoolwork during the break, doing so will contribute to what is known as ‘summer learning loss‘.
When the brain misses out on educational training over the summer period, its intellectual capacity decreases. This means that when your child goes back to school in September, their ability level could drop an entire 3 months compared to where they left off in July.
But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this simple parent’s guide to beating it.
1. Spend at least 20 minutes reading with your child every day
Whether it’s spending a bit of time in the morning, when relaxing on the beach or just before bed…. reading not only helps stimulate the brain but will enrich your child’s vocabulary, leading to a boost in confidence when returning to school.
Reading doesn’t have to be boring, either. Spotify has a great variety of podcasts for children, where they can listen to the latest and most popular books:
- Bedtime Explorers: Magical Places. This podcasts allows the children to relax and unwind before going to sleep.
- Stories podcasts: Free, weekly episodes that cover a wide range of stories, from fairy tales to traditional stories.
- Story Pirate: Stories written by kids adapted into comedy by improvisers, comedians, actors.
- Science adventure stories for kids: Amazing stories full of interesting, fun facts, cool music and all hosted by Simon the Frog.
These podcasts are a new and fun way of reading and learning and even parents will enjoy listening to them!
If you’re worried about splashing out the cash on nicely illustrated children’s books, don’t worry. In London there is at least one public library in every borough, so it’s completely free to read and borrow as many books as you need. According to the Economist, Summer Learning Loss does affect students from poorer backgrounds even more than those from well off families; one of the reasons being because there is less to spend on things like tutoring or summer camps. But don’t worry. Reading consistently every day is an effective way to keep the brain stimulated and ready for the new school year in September.
2. Hire a private tutor
Private tutors are a great way to stimulate your child’s brain during the summer and to have an expert accountable for their learning. It also means you can take a well-deserved break during your child’s tutoring lesson! Of course, the style of tutoring can be more laid back and employ more engaging activities, so it is a great opportunity to enjoy learning in a more creative way. Check out the benefits of private tuition here.
Requesting a tutor for 1-2 hours per week is enough to prevent summer learning loss…
Tutorean offers a very simple platform to find the perfect tutor for your child over the summer. Our team are also here if you’d like some extra help finding the best tutor for your child’s needs and learning style (we meet every tutor so we can make personal recommendations). Our tutors have years of experience and are some of the leading experts in their field. We also offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. To find a private tutor for your child, click here.
3. Setting up chores
Chores are both beneficial to children and of course, you as a parent. Assigning chores helps your child become more independent and organised. Additionally, it teaches them about responsibility, obligation and commitment from a young age.
After your child has finished doing their chores, it’s useful to employ delayed gratification through mini rewards, such as playing on the iPad for 10 minutes or enjoying a favourite snack.
Recommended chores from Montessori education system:
Sweeping the floor is a quick and easy way of starting the chores; even toddlers can join in and help around the house. A good example is taking them outside to sweep the leaves or make them sweep the floor if they let some crumbs fall. Once they know how to sweep, they can start mopping and vacuuming. Along with feeling competent, this will help children learn about responsibility and feel part of the adult’s team.
- Folding the laundry:
Folding doesn’t always have to be as boring as it seems. A good way of learning while doing chores like folding is doing some Maths! With washed cloths and socks, fractions, dividing and multiplying can be great fun. This can also help them with organisation when putting clothes away. It also gives them the opportunity of learning how to match colours and shapes.
- Making their own lunch boxes:
It’s not as crazy as it sounds! This is a very efficient way of dealing with picky eaters. While they won’t have total control of the menu, making small decisions can make children feel heard and valued. Simple sandwiches like peanut or cucumber are easy enough to make. Also, letting children help wash their favourite fruit or vegetable will help them feel a part of the family unit. This will help develop their creativity skills, help them learn to follow instructions and the importance of eating healthy from a young age.
4. It’s time to get cooking!
There’s nothing more rewarding than devouring a dish you’ve created with your bare hands. But consider the satisfaction of eating a meal with your child after having cooked it together whilst learning something new.
There are several ways of training your child’s brain in different ways when cooking, by exploring a variety of different school subjects:
- Sciences: What happens to different foods during the cooking process? What makes food hot or cold? What’s the difference between a solid and a liquid, and how do mixtures work?
- Geography: Where do different foods originate from? What climate do different foods grow best in?
- Mathematics: Adding up weights of different ingredients, using fractions, measuring and counting.
- Exposing your child to new words and spellings through equipment and food names
- Problem solving: Dealing with issues that arise during cooking (e.g how do you stop the cookie mixture from sticking to the tray?)
- Creativity: Decorating, coming up with new personalised dishes
- Culture: Learning about different dishes around the world
- History: How did people used to eat and cook in the past? What types of meals did you grow up cooking and eating? How has this changed in time through to today?
- Nutrition: Which foods are good for you? Which foods are less good for you and why? How does the body turn food into energy?
Summer doesn’t always have to be a learning slide, and learning doesn’t always have to be boring. Though many studies show the importance of studying during the summer break, it is also the most valuable (and memorable) time for adventure and fun! With this guide to tackle summer learning loss, your child will get the perfect hybrid of learning and adventure.
–The Tutorean Team wishes you a lovely summer break 😀