No Summer School, No Problem: How to Keep Kids Learning This Summer

Many parents are familiar with the term “summer slide” — you know, that struggle some kids have in September when they’ve been out of a classroom for two whole months. While not all kids are affected, a lot of families will notice that their kids seem to have fallen behind in reading and other academic skills after enjoying a school-free summer season. It’s totally normal, but it can be frustrating for children and leave parents scrambling to help them catch up. Read on for ways to keep kids engaged in learning all summer long. Think of it as a little bit of home school, a little bit of summer camp and a whole lot of fun.

1. Keep a home classroom this summer season

If your child has engaged in virtual learning for the current school year (or part of it), consider maintaining their home workspace over the summer season. This looks different in every home — it may be a desk in their room, a shared table, or a spot in a parent’s home office. If multiple people are using the same space, consider something like this colourful rolling storage unit to help keep school supplies organized and out of the way.

On rainy days, or when a little downtime is needed, encourage your kids to play educational online games like DreamBox, Raz-Kids or an activity on (a Chromebook is great for this). When they aren’t learning online, use the area as an art space. You can also add board games and puzzles, strategy games, STEM activities, educational workbooks and other fun summer school activities. Get creative — we’ve got inspiration for your home school space here with all the essentials you need to create an at-home classroom.

Having an area that’s dedicated to summer school-style activities can also help working parents balance their home office with keeping kids busy over the summer. Consider getting the kids a set of headphones like this neon set from Wicked Audio, so they can play educational games while you work nearby. They’ll have fun while learning and you’ll score some uninterrupted work time.

2. Take inspiration from nature

The summer season is all about being outside. So why not challenge your kids to a scavenger hunt or another activity from this Scholastic Children’s Guide to outdoor fun? A book like 101 Fun Outdoor Activities for Children is another excellent source of inspiration for kids and parents, and this outdoor boredom buster box will keep little ones busy (and learning) for hours. It’s a bit like gym class and science all at once. Consider the backyard your outdoor classroom.

3. Motivate them to keep reading

Literacy is incredibly important no matter what age your child is, and a little motivation can go a long way. Consider setting up a reward chart that allows them to track the number of books (or pages) they’re reading this summer. Instead of assigning reading as a task to complete, entice them to read by offering a cozy space, great books and a reward for meeting their goals. It also helps to model this behaviour, so feel free to curl up on the couch with a good book or discuss your favourite magazine at the dinner table. Goodbye summer slide, hello summer fun (and learning).

By Staples Canada

May 27, 2021