Summer Learning: What Parents Need to Know

Our students have just completed what has been described as one of the wonkiest and stressful years in their educational lives. What are the steps parents should take this summer to help their child prepare from the perspective of a curriculum and instruction expert? You might be surprised!

Take time to recharge. This is first on the list for a reason. Adults and children alike need a chance to recover from a year that has felt strange and different. Put the pause button on “learning loss worry”. Instead, just focus on connecting with your child outside of academics. Without the opportunity for a reset, burn out can take over for both parent and child. Students will be able to take on a new school year and be prepared and more likely to feel positive about re-entering the classroom if their brain is well-rested.

Make space for downtime. Allowing children to bask in unstructured play and activities is an invitation for preparing them for life. Innovation is something that can be flexed, but never forced. Get curious about what activities your child likes to do when there is nothing on the schedule and encourage them to think outside the tech box. Do they like to build forts, draw, color? Help them identify things they like to do and then just let them have space to do it.

Be experience oriented. This doesn’t have to be costly, either. Go to the park. Have a water play day. Find a local bakery and ask if they would be willing to show a few interested elementary age kids what goes on behind the scenes. Get creative. Get curious about what’s out there to do. Don’t worry about fancy and expensive outings if that’s outside your budget. The memories will be just as special. And who knows? Maybe a new family tradition or activity will be discovered!

Of course, I always encourage parents to provide opportunities for reading and math literacy. But this year, more than ever, our children need to experience that little bit extra of childhood, free from the concerns of academics.

When you parent, you are your child’s first teacher. When you teach, you touch the future and that’s a pretty amazing place to be!

Tune in tomorrow as I will share ideas on how to address learning in fun ways that blend in with summer activities

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