The summer break from school can be a long time with no educational activities, and may lead to a learning loss. So if you would like to keep your child’s schoolwork up during the holidays (without them even realising they are doing work!), try these surprisingly simple tips to stop the summer slide.
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Everyone loves the long summer school holidays – it’s a well-deserved break from homework, packed lunches, school drops and after-school activities that both children and parents need.
However, maybe you are worried that the long break will result in your children forgetting some of the things they have learned? Don’t panic! There are lots of simple, everyday activities that can really help to stop the summer slide, from…
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How Can I Stop the Summer Slide?
#1. Keep ‘Em Reading
Take part in a summer reading challenge. Stop by the library every week and choose new books to borrow.
Get the kids to write a short book report for each book read over the summer, or even just their favourite.
For younger kids, paired reading is a fun way to improve their reading – you read a paragraph, they read a paragraph – a lovely way to spend some quality time together too.
#2. Write Letters/Postcards
This was such a part of our childhood, but modern technology has almost eliminated the art of letter writing. Get the kids to write or send postcards to their grandparents, cousins, friends or siblings over the summer.
#3. Keep a Summer Diary/Journal
Keeping a summer diary is a fun way to keep the kids practising their hand-writing over the holidays. They will also enjoy reading back over their activities at the end of the summer, and will be most likely amazed at all the great things they did!
Keep tickets/receipts and stick them into the journal from day-trips or vacations, and print out photos to help them tell their story.
“Summer journal! Awesome to bring back to show to class. Just a short thing at night before bed on their favourite thing that day or week!” – Rylie
#4. Write Stories
Write some fun stories together – you write a sentence or paragraph, then fold it over, except for the last word or sentence, and let your child/children write the next bit. Continue passing back and forth until you end the story, then open it up and read the hilarious mismatched story!
Older kids may enjoy writing their own stories. Give them a picture and ask them to write a short story about it. Or let them try make their own comics, with some pictures and dialogue to tell their story.
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#5. Play Board Games
Board games are a great fun way to keep up the mental agility during the summer holidays. Let your kids be the banker in Monopoly, and let them read out all the chance cards too, to help with their maths and reading.
Boggle and Scrabble are both good games to help with spelling and words. We’ve got lots of ideas for board games recommended by parents, as well as some unique and completely different board games to play as a family.
#6. Read Anything, Anywhere
For children starting to read, take any opportunity to get them reading – ask them to read street signs, shop labels, cereal packaging, etc.
#7. Play Maths Games
Keeping your child proficient at maths during the summer can be as simple as playing maths games in the car (counting, adding, doing mental maths/tables), at the supermarket (“I need 4 apples, 3 lemons, 5 oranges – how much fruit do I need?”), or just getting them to count your loose change.
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#8. Write Lists
Get the kids to write a summer bucket list, and tick off as they complete the activities.
When going shopping, get them to first check what you need and then write out the grocery list.
“Little things like helping make the grocery list help and it doesn’t seem like school work when you let him add cupcakes or brownies to the list. If you do a mix he can help mix and bake which adds reading time and math measuring. Make it fun!” – Misti
#9. Word of the Day
Pick out some new words for your children, or get them to identify words they do not understand from magazines/books. Get them to look up their meaning in a dictionary, and write a sentence with the new word in it. This will help them to expand their vocabulary and practice their writing.
For older kids, you could make it some extra fun and play your own version of “Call My Bluff” – get them to find really difficult words, and write out the real definition, and two other false, but realistic-sounding meanings, and have fun seeing who can guess the correct definitions.
10. Bake/Cook Together
Baking or cooking with your children provides many learning opportunities, including writing out the shopping list, reading the recipe, weighing out ingredients, and reading the time.
Better still, they won’t even realise they are working, as they’ll be having so much fun! We have lots of great recipe ideas here.
#11. Play Apps and Online Games
There are a host of educational apps out there for kids that help make learning fun, but sometimes it can be hard to know which ones are the best. We’ve got a round-up of lots of great online games and apps for kids to try, from cooking and math to Harry Potter and dinosaurs!
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Have your say! Do you try to keep your kids schoolwork up during the holiday? How do you stop the summer slide for your child? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!