We may not have hit triple digits just yet, but summer is here! In addition to being a time for vacation, family, friends, and camps, summer is also an important time for growth. Research tells us that a summer without academic stimulation can result in as much as two to three months of learning regression. On the other hand, even thirty minutes a day can keep skills sharp, help close learning gaps, and develop emotional maturity as students get ready for the next school year. Here are four ways you can do that this summer.
Practice Reading and Math Skills
Keep your child reading and read with them! Summer gives them more time to read for enjoyment, and when they talk about the books they’re reading with you, it boosts their comprehension and analytical skills. Even just a few math problems a day can keep math skills fresh, preserve their math learning from last year, and set them up for the year to come.
Encourage Creative Writing
Student writing gets better with practice and a paragraph a week is all it takes. It’s even better if the topic stretches his or her imagination too. Writing a mystery about the disappearing dragon or a fantasy story about monkeys and robots running the world (even better with illustrations!) can be a fun way to keep skills growing.
Creativity lets us express ourselves, solve problems, become resourceful, and even relieves stress. Creativity starts with curiosity, so indulge it all you can—encourage your kids to notice the world around them, and collect things they find. Take pictures of things they point out and go through them when you get home. Ask questions and encourage them to ask them too. The number of questions people ask as they grow up shrinks significantly—from hundreds as children to dozens as teens to too few as adults. Give your kids chances wrestle with questions and make connections between ideas. Feeding curiosity, experimenting with connections, making mistakes, and learning from them sparks curiosity
The need for young people to develop resilience—the ability to bounce back from setbacks and navigate challenges—is greater than ever before. As parents we naturally want to swoop in and bail our kids out, but creative and purposeful struggle helps them develop this much-needed grit and determination. Resist the urge if you can! Productive struggle can be one of the best tools to help students develop grit and determination.
Snow cones, water balloons, and trips to the beach are all essential ingredients for a fantastic summer, and by spending just a few hours a week on these areas, summer can be a springboard for success in the coming school year too!
To a summer of fun and learning,
Summit Head of School