YMCA of Greater Erie

The school year is quickly winding down and coming to an end, but that does not mean learning should end too.  Children spend all school year learning new things, and while summer is a time to step away from school and enjoy life, summer learning loss is a real issue.  We do not want our children to forget what they have worked so hard to learn.  There are two words that can help prevent summer learning loss: enrichment and involvement.  These two words can help them not only retain the information they learned during the school year, but also teach them new things.  Here are tips to avoid summer learning loss.

  1. Enroll in a program: There are so many positive aspects of enrolling into a summer program.  Not only will your children have fun, they will work on their social skills with other children and adults, as well as participate in educational activities.  You could enroll your child in an over night camp, a day camp, full-time, part-time, the options go on.
  2. Use that library card: take a trip with your child to your local library, not only can your child read at the library, but they can learn.  There is a wide variety of books, reading levels, subjects, cultures, and more.  Use this time to connect with your child and compare your likes about books.  You can read together or even take turns reading to each other.  Take a book home with you for a bedtime story and cuddles.
  3. Family Field Trips: Summertime is most often spent taking vacations. Use those trips as teachable moments.  You can travel the sates learning or even take a local family field trip.  There are so many places to explore and learn about together.  Zoos, museums, parks, forests, etc.  Not only can you have fun together but you can learn.  They can draw pictures of their favorite part, or even write a short story about their trip.
  4. Take summer learning to the kitchen: Cooking in itself is a learning experience, but cooking can teach your children so much more.  They can learn while measuring, following sequence, and reading.  You can even turn cooking into a history lesson or a cultural lesson.  Use this daily chore as a teachable moment and a chance to bond with your child.
  5. Dust off the games: Create a family fun night.  Spend time with your family having and fun and learning.  You could play some traditional board games such as monopoly or life, even Connect 4 and UNO.  You could also play some educational video games together or get creative and work together to come up with a new game.  You could even spend your family night going for a walk or bike ride while discussing nature and animals you see along the way.

Julie Lakota
School-Age Enrichment Director
County YMCA

Editor’s Note: Information for this blog post was taken from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gail-gross/fun-ways-to-help-prevent-summer-learning-loss_b_5435718.html