Let’s start by answering the question: what is summer learning loss?

Summer learning loss is the loss of academic skills/knowledge that children may experience during the summer when they are away from school for a long period of time. Experts still debate why this happens or the degree to which children are affected by it, but many teachers say it is a real issue.  With the switch to online learning, this year it feels as if they have been out of school forever.  At least they have not been in a classroom.

When children learn a new skill, like a language, for example, it will not stick unless practiced regularly. Well, it is the same for other skills, especially as the summer months fly by. So, what can you do for your child to make sure they are exercising their brain while still having fun throughout the summer? Here are some ideas.

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    1

    Spend time reading everyday

    Reading is often used as a punishment for kids or forced upon them as the homework that doesn’t really matter, which is why many children do not enjoy reading. So, the one thing you can do is make sure you dedicate time to reading everyday (preferably not on a phone or tablet). Whether it is a summer reading book or just a book for leisure, reading improves vocabulary and reading comprehension. 

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    2

    Talk to your child about current events

    While the news can be heavy and oftentimes negative, it is important to choose the right events to talk about with your child. Talking about the news and current events keeps your child up to speed on what kinds of things are going on in the world, which is more important than you may think. 

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    Sign up for daily educational emails

    There are many programs out there that offer free daily newsletters for kids! PBS Kids offers a newsletter that contains activities and tips that you can use to keep your child learning and growing!

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    Utilize ABCmouse.com

    ABC.com has programs for kids ages 2-8. You can even access them on your phone (either iOS or Android devices). The website acts as a game for kids as it uses a rewards system to motivate children to keep moving on and learning.

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    Instructables.com

    Instructables.com takes teens and even adults through step-by-step ways on how to create and make just about anything. This website will get your creative juices flowing and allow kids to create projects that are fitted to their skills. It’s home to curious makers, innovators, teachers, and lifelong learners.

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    Use your local library

    Although you may not be able to go into a library and check out books or resources, you can still utilize the online library tools! Many libraries have research tools and options for teens and young adults. All you have to do is enter your library card and you’re good to go!

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    John Green online videos

    Talk about a crash course! John Green has online videos that cover just about any topic you can think of. These videos can be useful for any teen looking to get some extra information on any topic they choose. The best part is: it’s fun too! John Green is full of energy and delivers educational messages in a way that is comprehensive and interesting. So, instead of your child watching mindless Youtube videos, they can watch these instead and actually learn something new!