Summer Learning Activities
Summer is (basically) here! It's been a long year and your kids probably need a break from school. They're ready to hang up their notebooks and pencils for video games and frisbees.
As a parent or teacher, that break may be worrying. For many years, studies have shown that summer breaks lead to ‘summer learning loss.’ The idea that our kids are losing some of their education over the summer should be worrying.
Today, I’ve got a little more information about this phenomenon and some fun summer activities for your kids to keep them learning!
Summer Learning Loss
Summer Learning Loss is a theory backed by numerous studies, that indicates students in grades K-8 lose some amount of their learning over the summer months. The degree varied widely though, with factors like race, socioeconomic status, and the school district creating impacting retention.
In 2017, Brookings published a comprehensive look at Summer Learning Loss, including a great deal of recent data. I strongly encourage you to take some time and read not only their article but the linked source material. The subject is vast and there’s a lot more for us still to understand.
But what does that mean for you and your kids this summer?
Seeking A Learning Balance
Whether kids forget some of what they’ve learned over the summer or not, you can take the opportunity to support a much more important idea: lifetime learning.
Here’s an anecdote: when I was young, I would go to a reading event for kids at the library. It was probably once a week at the most, maybe fewer. But that handful of reading times at the library stand out in my memory. And undoubtedly these summer library events helped build and reinforce my love of reading.
Studies have yet to find a conclusive relationship between school-free summers and retention of learning materials. Regardless, there’s value in teaching your kids all year long.
Summer Learning Activities
Helping kids learn and think creatively during the summer doesn’t need to look like schooling. In fact, it really shouldn’t. Everyone, kids included, deserves a break.
These activities are simple and fun; just the right way to help your kids engage their minds while on summer break!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; writing prompts are great. A writing prompt can be a quick exercise that won’t even feel like learning. But you know that every time your kids imagine and turn those imaginings into a few sentences, they’re developing literacy skills.
Here are three of our most recent prompts to inspire your kids:
We publish new prompts weekly on our Instagram too! Head over and give us a follow to get the latest prompts each week!
Are you and your kids planning a family vacation this summer? After more than a year with little or no travel, everyone in the family is likely itching to get out.
If you are traveling, consider giving your kids their own travel journal like this one from Lulu:
Or you could create your own unique journals for your kids (maybe with some prompts to help them write about their adventures?).
Keeping a travel journal is a wonderful practice for everyone. You’ll have more vivid memories from those travels and your kids will continue to reinforce their writing and observation skills.
Lulu Junior Teaching Guides
Earlier this year, we published three teaching guides that tackle Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Pride Month. These guides include an overview of the historical significance of each observance, important figures, and some great reading lists.
You’ve probably heard this, but Black History is more than February. Pride doesn’t stop on July first. Teaching these important subjects to your kids is important all year long. For the summer, it’s a great time to have some conversations about these topics and maybe read a book of historical significance with your kids.
Make A Comic Book
Your kids could create their own story or recreate a popular story they love like a comic! Lulu Junior’s My Comic Book kit is a great way to make a comic, but anything will work including plain paper and crayons.
While a writing task might seem like work to some children, a comic book is much easier to sell them on. Comics are action-packed, easy to read, and full of vibrant art.
Making A Lifelong Learner
We all know kids view school as work. In a lot of ways, they are similar. The commute, the regimented time for lunch, the endless projects and tasks. But learning doesn’t need to be so closely related to school.
This summer, make sure your kids have fun. But also help them continue to expand their literacy skills with reading and writing activities. Cultivate kids who love to learn and they’ll keep doing so their entire lives.