By Haley Hall, B.A.
Learning Specialist & LEAP Instructor
Summer is almost here (that’s right, winter is finally over. FINALLY!) and for many that means new schedules, less routine, and taking a break from schooling. Kids often regress academically by up to two months during the summer months. This is known as the “Summer Slide.” As parents, you may already be a pro at incorporating learning into your child’s everyday life, but with a new schedule and plans for some fun in the sun, that learning can often get pushed aside. Once the weather is warm and children have more free time, it suddenly can become nearly impossible to get children to work on formal academics.
Here are eight tips to help promote learning in a fun and easy way (sunscreen not included!):
- Join a Summer Reading Program. Most public libraries and bookstores have incentive programs to encourage children of all ages to keep reading throughout the summer. While you’re registering, check out some new genres of books. Many kids get stuck in a reading rut, so look up some recommended book lists and choose something unique!
- Try a new recipe! Practice measurement and following directions skills while spending some time together in the kitchen. An added bonus? Kids are learning valuable life skills, and might be able to start making their own breakfast or lunch, which means you get more time to tackle your to-do list.
- Listen to audio books. Going on a long road trip? Instead of turning on some music, try listening to an audio book. Engage your child by asking questions about the story, such as what they think will happen next or what their favorite part is. Did you know you can check out audio books for free from your local library?
- Start a journal. Encourage writing throughout the summer by providing a notebook for your child to jot down their thoughts, or to keep track of each day’s highlights. As a way to connect with your kids more, turn it into a journal that you can both write back and forth in. One day you write a letter to your child, give them the notebook, and the next day they write back to you.
- Enroll your child in a summer academic program. There are so many amazing group programs for kids to encourage learning during the summer. Here at ETLC we’re offering programs for all ages in reading, math and social skills. For more information, click here!
- Manage screen time. Let’s face it. Screens are a part of our daily lives, and it’s no different for our children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen time to one to two hours or less per day. To make the screen time more worthwhile, download some academic apps and let your child choose which ones they’d like to try.
- Have a lemonade stand! There are so many skills a child can practice by putting together a lemonade stand. They can practice measurement while making the lemonade, and money skills are developed as they give change and count their earnings. But, shhh! Don’t tell the kids they’re learning. They won’t even notice!
- Help your child prepare for their return to academics. Before we know it summer will be coming to a close and our Memorial Day memories will fade, so be sure to make a plan for your child’s academics this fall. There are so many alternative schooling options out there, and it’s important to find the right fit for your child. If your child is struggling in their current learning environment, check out the Language Enrichment Academic Program (LEAP). We offer half- and full-day programs for students performing within the 2nd-6th grade range. Children who once struggled with school now love coming to school and have made significant improvements with their academic and social skills! For more information, click here!
Enjoy the warmth and sunshine this summer with your family. When you think about it, there are many ways to sneak learning into our daily summertime activities.
Haley Hall is a Learning Specialist at Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center. ETLC has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech language therapy and tutoring as well as offer a unique group, the Language Enrichment Academic Program (LEAP). At Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.
1210 Jordan Street, Suite 2A
North Liberty, IA 52317
2570 106th Street, Suite E
Urbandale, IA 50322