Summer is here!! It is time for fun, relaxation, swimming, barbecues, and family get-togethers. The days are longer, and we all lax a little with routines and schedules in order to enjoy these long days of summer.
I truly see summer as a time to relax and do whatever I feel like doing whenever I want to do it, or in some cases do nothing at all. Schedules and strict routines are not something that I feel summer should be about. How do you feel about summer?
Summer is also a time for our kids to take a break, relax, and enjoy summer activities. I think many of us let our kids stay up late, fill our days with fun activities, and don’t really abide by the strict routines we have during the school year. Summer truly is a time of relaxation and rejuvenation and doesn’t need to be weighed down with routines or structure. Or does it?
No worries, I am not going to recommend that you structure your summer with strict routines and schedules. However, despite all the fun and relaxation, there are two activities that your kids MUST be doing this summer to prevent summer learning loss.
Summer learning loss can be defined as the loss of academic skills and knowledge during summer vacation. Every child will experience this if parents do not encourage the following activities:
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Kids can lose up to 2.6 months of reading skills during summer vacation if they are not reading. During the school year, I am very structured with my son’s reading time. Due to the grade level that he is in, he must read 30 minutes each night during the school year.
However, during the summer I am more flexible with his reading time. I make sure he reads at least 2 hours a week. His reading times are usually right before bed or if he feels like reading during the day, I definitely encourage it. Now, if you are blessed with a child that loves to read, I envy you. My oldest son hates reading and it is pure torture to try to get him to read. As for my youngest son, let’s just say he’s a little more enthusiastic about reading but not by much.
Regardless of the age of your child, reading is so important during the summer months. Although you don’t have to be rigid about a reading schedule, try to have your child read at least 2 hours a week. This reading time can include reading together as a family, reading a recipe, or reading instructions on how to play a game. Encourage reading time whenever possible. Reading aloud to your child can also be included in this time. Even though my youngest son has moved on to chapter books, I still read aloud to him, and he loves it.
Having your children read over the summer will help them be successful and prepared for the coming school year. Believe me, their teachers will appreciate it.
Here is a list of just a few great books to read aloud or for your children to read on their own:
Kids can lose up to 2 months of math skills during summer vacation if they are not practicing these skills. My son is currently mastering the multiplication facts. During the school year, I have him practice the multiplication facts on a daily basis.
Over the summer, I do not want my son to lose these important math skills, so I make sure that he’s practicing these skills throughout the week. I try to set aside at least an hour a week for math practice. Setting up 15 minute increments throughout the week seems to work the best for us.
There are definitely a few weeks during the summer when we are just too busy for math practice due to being on vacation or some other activity. However, for the most part, I try my best to include some type of math practice every week.
If your child is also learning the multiplication facts, you must set aside time during the summer for math practice. Mastery of the multiplication facts is essential to the success of other math concepts that are introduced later on in elementary school. If children haven’t mastered the multiplication facts by the end of fourth grade, they will often struggle in math until they reach mastery. In fact, children will often fall behind in math because many new concepts that are introduced are dependent upon the mastery of the multiplication facts. Children will be more successful in math if they know the multiplication facts.
If your child is learning basic math facts, such as counting, addition, and subtraction, he or she should also be practicing these skills over the summer. These foundational skills are so important and build up to more complex math concepts.
Practicing foundational math skills, basic math facts, or the multiplication facts over the summer will increase your children’s confidence and success in math for the next school year.
Here are a few great websites for math practice:
I believe that we all want the best for our children. We want them to be confident and successful in school. We also want them to retain the knowledge they received over the last school year. By incorporating these two activities into our summer plans, we can make sure that our children are prepared for a successful school year and fight the dreaded summer learning loss.