By Erin Gibson
A long, strange school year has ended, and for many students, an especially welcome break begins. While summer break is a good time for students to relax, it’s important to use summer as a chance to catch up and avoid the “summer slide.”
Every year, students lose several months’ worth of reading and math skills over summer break, and the problem is compounded this year because of the “COVID-19 slide” that has occurred during the last year of on-and-off remote learning. More than ever, parents must help their children get back on track if needed and keep their brains working during the time they’re not in school.
HERE ARE FIVE TIPS TO HELP YOUR CHILD STAY ON TOP OF LEARNING THIS SUMMER:
1. GET AN ACADEMIC “CHECKUP”
If you’re unsure where your child stands academically, a checkup is worthwhile. Such an assessment can pinpoint exactly where your child could use support and where they are succeeding in school. Then, a personalized learning plan can be created that addresses weaknesses and nurtures strengths.
2. REVIEW PRIOR YEAR WORK
Your child may resist, but this year is an anomaly, so reviewing work (with the purpose of improving retention) is wise. Have your child review saved worksheets or other assignments even just a few minutes a day. That math or English textbook also will come in handy. Even a little effort to retain what was learned throughout the last nine months will make a difference and help your child remember what he or she learned upon returning to school in the fall.
3. ADOPT A SUMMER READING HABIT
Summer is the best time of year to encourage children to activate their love of reading, and best of all, reading is one of the easiest ways to deter learning loss.
4. GET AHEAD
While summer is a good time to close any skill gaps and correct any problems that arose during the school year, it is also a chance for students to get ahead and fortify their strengths. So, if your child is taking any challenging classes next year or wants to solidify knowledge gained last year, summer learning can help them do that.
5. FOLLOW THE INTERESTS
The key to successful summer learning is getting your children consistently doing something that stretches their minds and uses their skills. Follow their lead by suggesting a summer science project, a class at a local community center or a self-directed research project on a favorite topic. There are opportunities to learn all around if your child is creative and willing. And when they’re your child’s ideas, that’s even better.
Erin Gibson is operations manager with Huntington Learning Center. Reach her at (228) 832-1226 or GibsonE@HLCmail.com.