Ah summer - the sunshine, outdoor activities, barbecue's and no school at all...
The two month summer break is great for kids and parents alike, but did you know that summer learning loss can actually affect students' ability to transition from grade to grade? Some studies have found that students' academic skills and knowledge can diminish over the course of summer vacation. According to the Canadian Council on Learning:
"Under the current calendar, the summer vacation creates a gap in the learning cycle during which students forget some of that they have learned, requiring teachers to devote significant instructional time to review when students return to school."
The good news? Summer learning loss can be counteracted with engaging kids in summer reading and academic activity - it doesn't even have to be all summer!
Going into the summer break, think about what concepts students' are strong with, and where they may need a little help. There are some great resources and activities around Edmonton to combat the lack of learning over the summer - some lists suggest family trips to the library, while others look for ways to challenge and engage kids in ways that they won't even realize they're learning!
Reading over the summer can keep kids minds active and engaged. Math and online brain games (think Luminosity) can also be more fun than academic, yet still stimulating enough to keep learning loss at a low. These games usually have a daily limit, so parents can encourage computer time as well as outdoor play.
Encouraging journal writing is also a great way to engage students in skills they learn throughout school - kids can write about their summer activities, goals for the next year, or even their own imaginative fiction! Getting neighbours and friends involved in these activities is also a great way to promote summer activity without forcing scholarly pursuits during vacation.
For those looking for a more structured and academic way to beat summer learning loss, Metro offers options for all grades and ages, including fun Summer Camps for Elementary and Jr. High students! For Senior High students, including grade 9 students who want to get ready for High School, Metro offers Summer High School at locations all around the city! Both programs run for a few weeks at a time, but offer monumental advantages for those who want to make the most of their summer and enter the next year both refreshed and prepared!