How to avoid summer learning loss

Summer Learning Loss refers to the loss of academic skills during summer holidays. Younger kids suffer from this loss more than the older kids. Preventing or minimizing summer learning loss is not much difficult with a good summer-activity plan.

Some activities and plans are highlighted below. Dear Son is still a preschooler. We have observed that his reading/writing/math skills get a bit rusty if we travel for a few days. Dear Son is probably not of an age when we should be much concerned about the summer learning loss. However, it is never too early to plan for the future especially regarding Dear Son’s education.

Flexible learning schedule

Kids do need to realize from their early stage that summer is a special time. Of course, they will realize that because schools are closed. Dear Son goes to the daycare but there is no homework during the summer. Therefore, making kids realize that summer is a special time of the year is not a difficult task.

We plan to work on some homework during the summer but at the same time we are planning to make the learning times a bit flexible. The flexibility is to give Dear Son a good summer-flavor.

Evenings are longer during the summer making it easier to plan for backyard activities in the evening. However, it becomes hard to find time after the backyard activities because it is already past the bedtime for kids. Alternating the days between backyard activities and some academic learning is sometimes a good idea. A good thing about preschoolers is that they do enjoy learning with activities. Therefore, even counting fifty some rocks is a fun-activity for Dear Son.

Keep practicing reading, writing, and math skills

It is very important for preschoolers to continue working on the alphabets, as well as practicing their familiarity with numbers. Preschoolers learn quickly. They forget quickly too. The summer before the kindergarten school is an important one because summer learning loss of a preschooler may lead to rusty reading, writing, and numbers skills right before going to a new school.

Regular content coverage

Reading, writing, and math skills are the three items we focused on in the last one year. We plan on continuing addition and subtraction in the Math side. Reading books and handwritten journals are in the reading part. The writing part will get more stress on the story writing, or journal writing. We would like to make sure that Dear Son can write four to five sentences all by himself.

Plan a schedule ahead to prevent summer learning loss

We will keep the schedule a bit flexible because we will travel more during the weekends of this summer. Although the schedule will be flexible, we are planning to touch all the topics equally every week. Ideally, we try to cover all reading, writing, and math each day but it might be difficult during travels. We might cover one subject each day. This plan is flexible because we might have to choose two subjects everyday if we find that reviving a subject after three days takes a longer time.

Cover items that challenge the child

We are planning to give Dear Son some materials that will challenge his current skills. For example, addition and subtraction of larger numbers than what Dear Son is currently familiar with. Or, writing a few sentences on a specific topic instead of writing four/five random sentences.

Preschoolers have a short attention span. However, sometimes they spend hours on something they like. The next day they might not like that at all. Activities like coloring and painting are something that sometimes obsess Dear Son. We will try to figure out more such activities during this summer that Dear Son will enjoy the most. We are planning on simple science experiments.

Summer programs

Many local organizations, including community colleges and universities, organize summer programs for kids. Sometimes they organize events even for preschoolers. In an earlier post, we highlighted what opportunities are there for all, including preschoolers and kindergartners, at the University of Texas at El Paso. Some summer programs for preschoolers areMath is Fun, I Am a Mini Reader, Science Disaster Blaster, Tackling the Tools of Writing, and Making Phonics and Reading Fun. These programs are fun to attend. Most of them allow parents to accompany the kids. Most of these programs need only one hour during a few weekends.

Do something different than the regular school year

Summer is a great time to learn something different and do something different. Two months is quite long in kid-time. Give your kids the opportunity to learn something unique that they might not be able to learn during the academic year. Reading history books, going to nearby museums and writing journals on them, working on advanced math skills, learning about a culture of another country, and learning a language are only some ideas.

Concluding remarks: Every child is different. They have different learning styles. A plan of action that is suitable for your child is what is required to prevent summer learning loss. Enjoy the summer. We wish you and your family a pleasant and memorable summer.

Settle in El Paso team
Prompt: Evanescent


11 thoughts on “How to avoid summer learning loss

  1. What an excellent post. I create a schedule for my kids each summer. They don’t like it, but I don’t go crazy. I try to make it easy for them to check off each thing: write a paragraph, do some math problems, etc.
    1. Thanks so much! It is inspiring to hear that you plan academic exercises for your kids each summer. I appreciate the comment.
  2. Good ideas! When my sisters and I were kids, our mom used to sign us up for a summer reading program at our local library branch. The librarians would just give you a list of books to read for points, and then you could get entered into a raffle for prizes. We never actually won anything, but it was always really fun to fill out the little forms with how many books you’d read that summer. If there’s a public library near y’all, it’s definitely worth checking if they have any programs for kids! Even if not, the library can be a good quiet outing. 😉
    1. Yes, definitely. We take our little one to the nearest library time to time. All libraries in El Paso have different programs. Dear Son enjoys the story reading program a lot. This summer, he is going to a summer reading program during the weekends. Thank you so much for providing such valuable information. In addition to libraries, we found that state universities arrange a number of summer programs for kids. These programs are really educational and of great fun! Thanks for visiting and commenting.
  3. Most schools here have summer camps where children are kept busy with various activities including some of those that you have mentioned here. This way parents get to breathe while the kids are taken care of in those camps. These camps also organise picnics where beach outings are not ruled out. My sister has a school for juniors and she conducts these camps each year. Even those who do not attend her school are admitted there.
    1. Yes, this is a great input. Many schools have several summer programs. Many universities have summer programs for kids of different ages. Such university summer programs cover activities from three year old to ages of high school students.

      Thank you for mentioning the summer programs. Have a great day.

  4. We have also noticed how rusty our son gets over the summer UNLESS we make sure that he’s still learning through various activities. We have a big park near where we live and all through the summer, they have free learning activities for kids. Each day there’s a different activity that focuses on a different learning skill – anything from languages, reading, writing, math, crafting and more. We try to take him there every day. But since us, the parents, still work most of the summer I use my dear mother, his grandmother. She loves taking him there because it gives them two a bonding time.

    So, this way our son is still active and learning. On top of that, we also have ”reading time” before bed. First, he reads me a story and then I read him one too.

    1. I am so glad to know that your mother lives in the same town. This is definitely great for your family. Have a wonderful summer. Thank you for visiting and commenting.
  5. Really good tips you provide there, we are already in the summer vacation but we don’t stay and do nothing. My son is in the 5th grade and we work a lot on this summer to keep up and not forget what he learned in school. Math, Geography, History, and English are only some homework that we are working on.
    Don’t worry I don’t forget that now is the summer vacation so I give him time to relax and have fun with his friends too!

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