Schools will be out soon, and balancing summertime idleness and over-scheduling is not always easy. Romantics say summer is for lazy days, play, and cloud-watching. Whip-crackers say it’s for keeping up skills, staying sharp, and remaining on academic high alert. The truth is in the middle.
Summer is for play and fun, but there is time for more. For most kids, they can build lasting seasonal memories and also have time to keep up skills they will need when the new school year begins.
“The last few years have been tough for parents as they try to navigate challenges, and many are concerned about their child’s learning or skills due to school disruptions,” says Vijay Dhanoa, Centre Director of Surrey Guildford and Newton Sylvan Learning Centres. “An option for some may be to team up with a qualified tutor this summer.”
Summer is for slowing down, not shutting down.
So, here are easy tips for keeping kids’ brains stimulated and bodies active during the summer months.
Reading is an essential skill to practice. Parents need to read to their children, have them read to you, and go to the library regularly.
Read chapter books together. Create lists of books that you can read together – put them on construction paper chains and adorn the room. Act out favourite scenes. If there’s a movie, watch it afterwards. Keep it informal and fun.
Talk about your favourite books. Get friends involved with kids’ book clubs. Clubs are beneficial with classmate study buddies completing a summer reading list together—strength in numbers.
Keep it informal and make it a family activity by creating a family summer journal. It can be either hard copy or online, and it can be an excellent way to document your summer.
“Let everyone in the family participate with short written memories, thoughts, or ideas. Poems, short plays, drawings, videos, and photos can help keep it exciting and develop new skills,” says Dhanoa.
Talk with kids, not just to them. Kids need to have plenty of conversation to keep their vocabularies and minds growing. Research shows differences in working speech between students exposed to plenty of stimulating, engaging conversation and kids without it.
Kids know when adults are listening to them. Keep up with their interests without being intrusive – just enough to monitor and be supportive.
Ask questions that show you’re tuned in. Make occasional comments to share your point of view.
Math is all around us and plays a significant role in our lives. Showing how we use it daily – in the kitchen, in the car, at the office, at a restaurant, in your gardening, as you watch or play sports, and at the mall will help keep up those skills over the summer months.
Develop and Discover interests
Summer is the perfect time to pursue interests and activities kids do not get to study in school. Maybe this includes particular sports, hobbies, games, travel, arts, and friendships. Talk about them and write about them in your summer journal.
Summer is also a great time to discover untapped potential and interests. When kids get together with other kids of similar interests and abilities, they motivate and challenge each other while strengthening friendships and expanding knowledge.
Play hard and Re-charge
The weather’s perfect for outdoor fun, exercise, and imagination. Enjoy the sunshine. Encourage outdoor play, scavenger hunts, sports, bike riding, hiking, community exploring, imaginative fun, and neighbourhood games.
Let the summer be a time for more relaxed routines. Kids work hard during the school year. If that last report card says they could benefit from some academic encouragement, summer’s a good time to do this for a couple of hours a week.
Sylvan Learning offers personalized learning plans to help keep your child on track this summer.
For more than 40 years, Sylvan has been supporting learning. They have a variety of in-person and live online programs with certified teachers. Your child will stay safe, focused, and excited about learning with personalized attention.