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. #summerfun #kidseducation #summerplan
Summer Learning Loss refers to the loss of academic skills during the summer holidays. Younger kids suffer from this loss more than the older kids. Preventing or minimizing summer learning loss is not 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 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 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 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 every day 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 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 the 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


45 thoughts on “How to avoid summer learning loss

  1. @saygorem ..i agree with your first comment. A lot of kids tend not to be excited resuming school after a vacation. I for sure was one of those kids. But then, this post was made to address issues like that. Awesome tips.

    Personally, i believe in brush up learning exercises during holidays or vacations. But we shouldn’t make it a 50/50 thing. They should have more fun than learning during breaks. Am sure most kids will appreciate it that way.

  2. Awesome tips! I definitely agree that kids have different levels of learning so plan it out suitable to your child’s requirements . One that perfectly fits to the level of your child’s ability. When I was a kid my parents never thought of ideas like these. Whenever it’s summer it’s all fun in the sun. Beach, camping you name it we have gone through it. Parents now a days are more supportive and balances thing to keep the kid on tract while enjoying. This is also true with learning toys where kids play and learn at the same time. Often I enroll my kids on a summer class and travel away from the city for the rest of the summer. I seldom don’t mixed them up. So there is a time to play and a time to study. Just make sure it’s not too much of everything or it can’t be good.

  3. It is actually very common for children to be quite lazy during summer and just focus their attention on watching TV or playing computer games. This is a very good list for parents to see for them to have options on how to prevent learning loss during summer breaks, and while their kids are learning, they also enjoy and meet new friends.

    Back when I was a kid, I would always look forward to summer breaks because then I’ll get to join summer programs and learn new and exciting stuff such as martial arts and piano lessons. These may not be very useful for academic lessons when children return to school, but it’s something where they can explore other stuff and see other interests. This is also one way of knowing which field a kid could excel at other than academic.

  4. Children must enjoy the summer break. it’s like a treat for them from doing their best in the school. They need rest for them to refresh their brain when classes resume. However, they need to learn that they need to keep what they’re doing in the school like reading their subject books and do some math problem. That’s why it is called a break, a break from school curriculum and do interesting activities. it doesn’t mean that just play all summer break but as you mentioned there’s so many summer programs or activities that a kid can enjoy.

    I will take my niece out, like traveling, she will bring books with her because she loves to read. If we stay at home sometimes watch movies afterward she will do some homework.

  5. You are right we should do something different because we must feel the summertime, vacation and be relaxing time must prevail but the knowledge must be kept fresh and the brain must be stimulated with activities that will make your child active.

    1. Learning should indeed be continuous, and for children to have these kind of mindset at a young age is very important in my opinion. It prevents them from being lazy and hang around on the TV or game consoles all day, which prevents them from learning and at the same time enjoying their time during school breaks.

      It is very important that parents get to see and acknowledge that not only could this be a time for children to learn new skills or practice their writing or math skills,but also a way for them to bond with their mom and dads. It is a common misconception that it is acceptable to just leave children in front of the TV or playing in their gadgets, but for me, it’s like teaching the at an early age that sedentary lifestyle is okay.

  6. Amazing solutions you’ve got here. I used to have such issues while still growing. It is always after the Christmas holidays that I always go back to school feeling like I am a new student. Honestly, I wish I knew these tips earlier while still a student.

    1. It’s never to late my friend… what I mean is if you missed those tips before on your school age days then you can still plan it out with your own kids. There is nothing wrong with having fun and enjoying summer vacation but let us not forget to keep these kids still on tract so they won’t experience the way you do like a new student going back to school.

  7. My child is learning from the environment, he is too young to start his school. In a couple of years, when he will be ready to start his formal education, I will have to deal with summer learning loss. I think I will have to enroll my child to a summer camp, where he will learn life skills. I have usually observed that when children get a long vacation, they seem to be distracted from studies. Maybe introducing reading habit will help them.
    I really liked the ideas presented here.

    1. I am happy to know that you liked the ideas in this post. Yes, a little practice may prevent summer learning loss. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  8. I like the subject, because it’s so important to keep learning so we can develop all the time, for kids even more so it become an habit, they can learn by playing educative games, but unfortunately most of parent came home very tired and instead of giving their child the time to see what he was doing all day long what did he learn, they gave them their phones so they just shut up and stay calm, and so parent can RELAX.

    1. You stated a common scene. Phone ? has become such an easy parenting tool. While we try to reduce screen time as much possible for our kid, sometimes we are also guilty of that crime.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful weekend.

  9. Yes when it comes to summer vacations the children lose focus on their studies. We should our students to things that are challenging and interesting so that students will participate and involve their selves in learning activities.

    1. Definitely, activities to promote such learning is important. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. You have shared some great tips here. I think the biggest problem with kids is that they expect the whole holiday to be fun and a relaxation period, so they tend to not want to do any type of learning based activities. Encouraging some sort of learning based activities once a week even is good to ensure that summer learning loss is prevented. The best thing to do, like you said, is to try and go over some of the things that were challenging for your child during the previous year. If they can learn that then they can be more prepared for the future.

  11. I remember my niece, we used to play every other day during the summer vacation. She was so interested in playing and socializing with other children in the playground. Then when we come home she will start practicing writing and coloring what she drew.

    1. That’s a wonderful practice. Practicing reading and writing during summer is important for kindergarteners. Thank you for sharing the story of your niece. Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. Very informative, During my college days, I always forget all the things I learned whenever the summer came. It’s like summer is like an eraser where it will erase all the things that you learned from all of your hard work.

    1. I totally get what you mean! I guess too much enjoyment during vacation makes one forget about all the lessons from school that one has spent too much trying to learn.

      One time back when I was in college, on the first day we got back from vacations, our clinical instructors decided to make that day exam and demo day. I know I studied it all before but it seemed like they became all gibberish to me. I didn’t know what to do and how to do things when just before the break, I could easily do it all, so I guess using eraser as a comparison is very appropriate. I learned that day to never allow my brain be stagnant even if I were on vacations.

  13. I agree that kids have a tendency for learning loss when going through summer vacation. When the time comes to vet back to school, kids are not anymore excited to go to school because they got used to only play in the entire vacation.

  14. These are great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I have two kids and I must admit, I always run out of ideas on what to do with them on summer breaks. I want to make sure that even on vacation, their brain doesn’t stop working. I love the idea of incorporating educational activities on games.
    I am also an extremely busy mom and it is not easy for me to balance my time between work and family.

    1. I agree with you that it is very hard to always keep track of children’s education, especially during the summer. Work life balance is definitely a struggle. I am happy to find that you still are trying your best to create great summer activities for your kids.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. Like the popular phrase do say “Learning is fun”, for kids we need to make every learning activities fun for them. You are right, kids learn and forget quickly so revisions of what they have learnt before summer have to be continuous.
    What I do for them mostly is to enroll them in summer lessons and programs, watch educative video CDs that aligns with what they’ve learnt together, I also play educative & healthy games with them on my tablet when I’m less busy.

  16. Great tips,Read it the right time.I plan ahead of Summer for my kids because it not wise for kids to just play these long.

    I plan for Summer classes for them and it keeps them mentally alert till resumption.

  17. As an elementary school teacher I am a huge promoter of learning throughout the summer. However, I feel that learning doesn’t always have to be regimented, there is so much learning that can take place in life itself. I believe that the best way for children to learn is through natural and fun ways. Bring out some board games and kids have a chance to learn some reading, some math, and important social skills (like taking turns). Take your child outdoors and see what science conversations and discoveries you can incorporate into the day. Build a fort together and sit down with a book… kids love forts and they make any activity seem more fun. YouTube videos these days have tons of great learning videos where children can learn nearly anything and half the time they don’t even realize they are learning! There are so many great ways to incorporate fun learning into life.

    1. Wow! So many great ideas you have provided to prevent summer learning loss. I definitely agree that learning can be ensured in so many different ways. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

  18. So great you decided to talk about this topic. It is very common. It even happened to me when I was a kid. It’s very important to know how we can help our kids to continue his learning process even in summer… it is not only up to school an teachers, but also to us, parents!

    1. Agreed. Parents may plan to avoid summer learning loss. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful weekend.

  19. Wow! Nice tips! Summer should be a great time for a child to learn new stuff! When I was a kid, I always looked forward to summer, not because it was vacation and I’d have nothing to do. I was excited because I knew my parents had a lot of things in store for me.

    There were times when we would go to the zoo, there were times when my mom would read me stories, there were times when we would go to the movies or to the museum… There were so many activities and each one of them was a learning experience.

    Every day is a day to learn. No matter what the event, no matter what the season. Therefore, summer is not an excuse for your child having learned nothing at all.

    1. That you for your great feedback. I am absolutely with you. I miss the childhood summers as well. I am trying to give them back to my child now. Hopefully, he will adore the memories when he will grow up.

      Have a wonderful weekend.

  20. 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!

    1. Haha … definitely. Kids need to enjoy the summer without having summer loss. You are doing the perfect thing. Thank you for your comment. Have a wonderful summer weekend.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

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