Beat Summer Learning Loss

Beat Summer Learning Loss

Help your kids stay sharp this summer with 5 tips on math to reading.


By: Yvonne Condes

Brain Drain
Let's face it: With summer vacation comes summer brain drain. Every year, kids lose up to three months of math comprehension during the long break, according to research published on the National Summer Learning Association website.

How can parents bridge the achievement gap while the kids are out of school? Here are 5 tips to help beat summer learning loss, while still staying active and having fun.

Start at the Library
Most libraries have summer reading programs that award kids points for how many books they read. “And it doesn’t stop when your child finishes the book,” says Jay Brown, director of integrated marketing at literacy nonprofit Reading Is Fundamental. Talk to your child about what she's reading, and ask questions about characters and story details to get her thinking.

Math Is Everywhere
Math opportunities are all around you. Take younger kids to the grocery store and let them count the items in the cart. Or, ask them to add up the cost of the items. When you’re driving, have kids compare the number of green cars they see with the number of red cars.

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Use Online Resources
If the library isn’t convenient, you can start a summer reading camp online. Education.com has several resources, including an online reading program called Do-It-Yourself Summer Reading Camp. New themes are introduced each week, complete with arts and crafts activities and conversation topics. Older kids can read 10 books, take the summer reading quiz and enter to win a Kindle prize pack.

Make Learning Fun
“Relax,” Brown says. It’s summertime, and although you may want kids to learn, you don’t want them to feel as if they’re still in school. Make reading something they will want to do—not something that they have to do. Find books they love, and don’t discount graphic novels and comic books. The books may have a lot of pictures, but they will still boost vocabulary and comprehension.

Lead By Example
Read in front of your kids. It seems simple, but reading in front of your children can have a huge impact on them. When kids see you reading books, newspapers and eBooks, they will follow your example and see the importance of reading for pleasure. “Send a clear message that literacy is important,” Brown says.

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