Emmaleigh Badeaux, MA, and Tracy Gale, PsyD, HSPP, Easterseals Crossroads
School might not be in session, but your children still have access to their favorite teacher – you! As a parent, you are uniquely qualified to teach your child in ways that he/she will enjoy. You can use your extensive knowledge of your child’s interests to maintain and strengthen academic skills.
Consider incorporating the following strategies into your summer plans to prevent summer learning loss:
- Toward the end of the year, pay attention to the work that is coming home. Ask the teacher about your child’s present level of performance and what content would be helpful for you to review. You will be better able to build upon your child’s current skills if you know what concepts he/she was beginning to learn and those skills that have already been mastered.
- Summer is a time to review the basics and gain confidence in applying them. Be sure to limit the presentation of new material that may be frustrating or overwhelming for your child.
- Seize learning opportunities as they arise. Emphasize the math in daily activities, such as calculating the cost of the items on your grocery list, how long the family road trip will take or how the measured ingredients will change if a recipe is doubled. Math is more than calculation; it relies on counting, sorting, pattern recognition and other elements of spatial reasoning. Try similar activities to practice reading skills.
- Keep it fun! Children spend the entire school year learning in a more structured manner. Use summer to provide opportunities to learn in messy, creative and unusual ways.
After your child has put effort into their learning, be sure to reward him/her with something fun. After all, it is summer!