Summer vacation is right around the corner here in the Lowcountry. Children are shouting hooray, while parents are wondering what to do next. The age old question about keeping children academically growing over the summer continues to persist. As an educator, I have parents ask me each year how they can keep my students’ learning, so they are prepared for the next grade level?
A few simple ways to keep kids happy & learning during the summer
- Keep children moving. Children who are physically active retain 30% more learned information than those who aren’t physically active. At least 45 minutes of physical activity such as swimming, biking, running, or playing at the park will be enough to keep children learning. My biggest tip is if you are short on time, park at the very end of the parking lot when running errands (i.e. Target) and walk in and around several aisle’s to buy your items. If have visited Target recently, then you know that is at least 45 minutes of activity.
- Keep children reading. Some children think that summer is an opportunity to take a “break” from reading. This is a big mistake. Daily reading is the single biggest indicator of creating life-long reading strategies. A life-long reader is more likely to become a millionaire, retain employment, and create friendships. My biggest tip here; sign up for summer reading log entries through the local library. Each summer, the library creates incentives for reading over the summer.
- Keep children engaged with chores. Responsibility is a key point for success in school. Continued responsibility at home will help the transition back to school. Find chores that are age appropriate, such as making the bed, taking out the trash, feeding the dog, putting dishes in the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, and folding laundry.
Summer time in the Lowcountry can be a great time to relax and spend time reconnecting with the family. A mix of down time and structured time will create a happy child this summer and make for an easy adjustment once the school year begins again.