It’s that exciting time of year when routine is thrown out with last years’ workbooks!

Growing up, summer break was exactly that, “a break”. We counted down the days until our school year ended so we could turn off our brains for two months. The only math I would do was to count the change I found in the cushions to know if I could afford anything when I hear the ice cream truck music. Today It’s the same for my son. Just last night I heard: “…but I’m trying to not do math because it’s summer and I’m giving my brain a break.”

We are beginning to learn more about the impacts of this break on our kids. It’s called the summer slide. It’s not a new ride at Playland. It’s the challenge of parents and teachers every summer to maintain the learning momentum.

In a recent discussion with the team at Kumon, I learned more about the affects of ‘Summer Learning Loss’. Here are the chilling stats:

  • Students will lose 2.6 months of math computational skills over the summer.
  • Students will lose 2 months of reading skills over the summer (on average).
  • By 6th grade, students will lose more than 18 months of learning due to summer learning loss.

By the time the school bell rings again in September, some students are prepared for a new year of curriculum while others require six weeks of catch up to re-learn last years lessons. So how can we keep our kids engaged throughout the summer and send them back to school ready for a new year?

Apparently, it takes just 17-25 minutes per day of focused work to prevent summer learning loss. Here’s a few fun ways to keep kids engaged in learning throughout the summer.

  • Enroll them in a Summer Learning Programs such as Kumon

– They offer Individualized support, not tutoring, to address the root of their challenges and gaps in knowledge. They teach students to re-learn the foundations so they can excel quickly at their current grade level. Here is how Kumon works

  • Enroll them in Summer Camps that are fun but also engage their minds

– Summer Camps help with social engagement but also, depending on the camp, offer new ways to learn and engage the mind.

– BuildaBizKids.com offers entrepreneur camps to stir their creativity while engaging in financial literacy, reading comprehension and social awareness.

  • Find Online Workbooks or Programs

– A quick Google search can offer assorted paid and free worksheets and programs they can do online or print and complete.

  • Create an at home Daily Reading and Mathematics Challenge

– Your local library will have great programs put on each summer to encourage ongoing learning as well as incentives for reading with rewards.

The key with any of these activities, is consistency throughout the summer. Give them time to run, to socialize, to be creative but also to apply what they have learned in school to the world around them. Try making it a group activity with their friends and let them contribute their own ideas on new & exciting ways to apply their knowledge.

Summer is a time for fun, that’s for sure. But when September comes around again, if they aren’t as stressed out with learning or catching up on the curriculum, then suddenly school becomes a fun time as well.