6 Tips for Getting Your Child Back into the School Mindset
Summer might be a vacation from school, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to take a break from learning. In fact, the summer months are some of the most critical months for keeping your child’s learning a high priority. This is because of the summer slide or, the regression in children’s learning during the extended break from school.
Is the summer slide a real phenomenon? Yes. According to the RAND Corporation, the summer slide accounts for one month’s worth of loss in math and reading skills for the average American student. For the average low-income student, this loss doubles.
With this in mind, here are six tips for getting your child back into the school mindset before heading back in the fall. Use these tips to mitigate some effects of the summer slide, then mark your calendars for September 11 – the date our LEARN Works programs start back up!
1. Take a field trip
- Field trips are a great way to get out of the house and explore learning in a hands-on way. Some local options include:
- Be sure to check out Charlotte Culture Guide for free events in the area, too!
2. Sneak learning into phone/computer time
- Engadget has compiled a great list of educational apps for middle schoolers.
- And these recommended apps for elementary schoolers are free!
3. Get messy and creative
- If paper and pencil feel too much like homework, let your child get creative with their practice tools. The following items are all great for practicing school skills in a fun way.
- Sidewalk chalk
- Shaving cream (squeeze some onto a cookie sheet and let your kid use their finger to write in it)
- Sand and sticks
- Bath/shower markers
4. Encourage your child to journal
- Let your child write freely about whatever is on their mind, or you can check out this great site for journaling prompts.
- Additionally, you can tie the journaling into reading time. Some prompts might include:
- What did you like about what you just read?
- How do you relate to your favorite character?
- Imagine an alternate ending …
5. Tie math and problem-solving into everyday situations
- Whether you ask your child to count out change owed back from a purchase, the number of miles between your exit and the destination, or how much gas will cost if you know the price per gallon and number of gallons your tank holds, make your everyday experiences a math game. Your child will love seeing how their math talents can be put to practical use.
- Implement a daily D.E.A.R. (drop everything and read) time at home. This can be a moment when you read a book together, or simply a time when everyone in the house stops and picks up their book of choice. Either way, pause from whatever you’re doing and celebrate taking the time to read.
- You can also schedule weekly library trips. Not only does a weekly library trip keep reading on your child’s mind, but it also encourages them to finish a book before the next trip comes up.
As you can see, there are many options for getting your child back into the school mindset before summer ends. Of course, the sooner you make these activities a part of your child’s daily schedule, the better. School might take a break, but that doesn’t mean that learning should, too.
And to all of our LEARN Works students – see you soon!