What is the way to prevent summer learning loss?
All students experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. What can we do to prevent it?
3 experts and 1 parent have answered
I've recently written an article about this for a regional family magazine who wanted ideas for readers (mainly parents) who are keen to avoid the "brain drain" of long Summer holidays.
Summer holidays are really important as they give the children an opportunity to experience freedom and exploration which they wouldn't normally in the educational environment and it's also a great time for them to discover new learning at a pace which suits them. Some of the ideas I suggested with a technology focus included using technology to get the kids outdoors with activities such as Geocaching, using 'Ingress' (the new release from Google), or for younger children mission:explore. All these require children to use skills such as communication, team working, and decision making.
Other activities might include putting together a Summer scrapbook (paper or recorded e.g. video or even a short film) - the process of collecting everything together towards the end of the holidays, putting them in chronological order and presenting them in a scrapbook provides an opportunity to not just reflect on what they did, but also learn more about ways to tell and present stories. Or how about taking the opportunity to learn about other cultures? This is particularly valuable if you're off on a family holiday abroad - take time to learn about the country you’re all visiting – encourage your child to find out about local traditions, food, and so on. Even if you're staying at home they can still be well ‘travelled’ and get involved in learning about other cultures by for example travelling to the corners of the world via Google Earth. Look at a map or online, and decide together on one or two countries you’d like to learn more about, then organise a themed night based around one of the countries you’ve chosen then plan the food, music and anything-else of relevance. It’s lots of fun and travel, whether in the mind or physically, is a great way of developing imagination and ambition, and opening the mind to new horizons.
So there you are - just a few ideas to be going on with. Most importantly though - make sure they (and you) have lots of fun!
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I love Lorraine's recommendations as they are creative and can easily be added to the holiday routine. There will be some children however, who do need to keep up with the more academic demands of school/education, depending on their age and specific learning skills. For these children, I feel it is all about routine, consistency and structure. They too must also know what they are expected to do and when their homework time is vs. play/free time. Children need down-time, play-time; however, from experience, I know that for some children completely stopping things such as spelling and reading sets them back after a long holiday. A perfect balance between work and play can be met, with more emphasis and time spent on play of course!
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Agree with Lorraine. Love the sound of some of those ideas.
There is a misconception (Gove-led) that the holidays start and learning stops. It doesn't. School stops.
The best thing you can do in the summer holidays is lots of different things. Loads of opportunities. I love the idea of a scrapbook, especially a non written one - make no writing a condition and watch children (and adults sweat!!)
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We have a morning Q&A session - at some point in the day before, a question will have popped up that the grown-ups don't have an immediate answer to, e.g. where do penguins live? which countries play cricket? why are there so many mosquitos around in the evenings? why do exchange rates vary so much? We have a question wall in the kitchen to capture these and, after breakfast, use encyclopaedias, Google or simply work out the answer to that day's question.