As a parent, I was always looking for ways to keep my children engaged in fun activities during the summer while trying to continue them on a “school year” sleep schedule. As a teacher, I know that children, just like adults, need “DOWN TIME!” But if the “down time’ is continued for the entire summer break, many students can have considerable amounts of summer learning loss.
One thing that my daughters loved to do in the summer was to go to the local library and attend the weekly storytelling events. While both of my girls were avid readers, my youngest loved to perform. During these storytelling events, the storytellers would choose children in the audience to help act out the story. This opportunity gave children who might struggle with reading a deeper comprehension while allowing them to experience the stories through acting. While many of the stories acted out were familiar fairytales, most of the storytellers would put some unique twists in the story to also engage the older children. Most local libraries offer these opportunities as well as provide incentives for children to continue reading during the summer months.
Also consider taking advantage of these few weeks left of the summer break to get your child “back in routine” for school. Getting them in from outside playing at 9:00 p.m. for some “quiet reading time” with you or a sibling is a way to start the back-to-school routine. If this is something that you and your kids struggle with, set an example by turning off the television at 9:00 and doing an activity with them.
I read a blog a few weeks ago that a colleague shared with me about preventing summer learning loss. Please take a few minutes to read the blog from Education Week entitled “Keeping Kids Academically Sharp During Summer” by Sherri Wilson of the National PTA.
-By Melodie Fulmer, Executive Director of Parent and Community Engagement