Many parents are well aware of the dreaded “Summer Slide” – the time of year when kids away on summer vacation forget everything they’ve learned at school. According to Oxford Learning, students lose up to 2 months’ worth of reading and math skills over the summer. What’s more, sixth grade students can fall behind by an entire two years with constant “summer sliding”.
It’s no question then why parents fret – that’s a lot of lost progress! But Emily Helfgot, Vice President of Learning at Flocabulary, assures parents there are many ways to keep your child learning this summer. Below, Emily offers some tips to make learning fun and effective at home.
Learning opportunities are all around us. Kids can learn arithmetic at the store, geometry at the park, ratios when cooking, and even reading from road maps. Kids can also question the world around them and find answers with a quick Google search. Parents should take the time to look for these everyday lessons, and encourage their child’s budding curiosity.
Kids of all ages gravitate toward tech, and apps are a great way to keep lessons fun. When browsing the app store, parents should choose apps with game elements. Games elements are effective teaching tools because they encourage the ‘mastery’ of a skill. Parents should also look for music apps, which can help kids with memorization (check out Flocabulary for more info).
Learning goals are important for mastering skills. Often, goals are set by teachers at school and reinforced by parents at home. However, parents should also take advantage of the freedom found at home. Ask your child what they’d like to learn, then set a routine that best supports their interests.
As most parents know, kids tend to have limited attention spans. A cross-curricular lesson can keep your child engaged, while ensuring they don’t fall behind on any subjects. To cover a broad range of subjects, parents can check the daily news cycle for ideas. Often, the news will touch on many topics taught at school, like NASA in Science, data analysis in Math and international stories in Geography, to name a few.
Teaching your kids can be hard when you’ve been out of school for a while. Homework problems start to look unfamiliar, and re-education can take hours out of a day. To make the task easier, parents should find resources with discreet answers that are easy to navigate. Consult a teacher or a tutor before the start of summer. And don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something – learning with your child offers a unique opportunity for bonding and self-directed learning!