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  • Ashley Adkins

The Dreaded Summer Learning Loss

One of our sons is a total academic geek. Really, and it’s so cool. Logan strives to please his teachers so when he is asked to write a journal entry about the latest field trip, he stays up until 10 p.m. writing a 15-page entry including details I wouldn’t have even thought of.

Our other son is a total sports nerd. Really, and it’s so cool. Eli would spend every waking moment outside playing catch so when he is asked to get ready for baseball practice he doesn’t need to be told twice to get on his gear and get in the car.

As you can see, though they are brothers they are so different. Their differences also play a role in how we, their parents, tackle summer learning loss. We participate in many different activities to try and maintain all the knowledge they learned the previous year as we want them to be ready for Fall -this Summer Learning Loss graphic from Oxford Learning is scary!

An obvious and incredibly fun summer program you could sign the kids up for is the summer reading programs offered by local libraries and/or bookstores. Luckily, we have our local CADL library who put on an awesome summer reading program. They incorporate fun and creative activities such as dancing and singing so children are not restricted to only reading. They also have a new promotion going where children can “Read off Fines”!

Additionally, our local independent bookstore, Schuler Books, organizes a summer reading program that offers gift certificate prizes to their store! Monetary rewards always get Eli motivated!

If your little ones are not motivated to read or write some other tricks we do in our house to keep our boys thinking include:

Hanging a map of the United States and the World on our walls. These maps have generated conversations at the dinner table about different states, cities, and cultures - all of which encourage the boys to go to the maps and READ the different words. I also think it gives the boys a great deal to think about and gets their imagination moving - Logan is totally obsessed with Geography now!

We have Magnetic Poetry pieces on the fridge for anyone to mess with at any time. Without even paying attention we begin to use our minds and create something new!

Travel to a Little Free Library. Fortunately for us our area has a lot of these to visit! It’s an adventure getting there and sometimes even more fun discovering what books are inside.

Summer Prompts of the Day. Provide your young ones reading and writing prompts for the day. For example, Nick recently had the boys design a team logo for a fictional sports team. This activity was great for Eli because, as you know, he is a total sports nut! Connecting the activity to something he is already interested in grabs his attention from the start.

Play board games! Logan absolutely loves Settlers of Catan. This is a very strategic game, requires some math skills, and allows him to really develop his brain skills.

What are some other tactics you use to keep your children engaged in learning throughout the summer?

Here are a couple of articles to help keep you on the right track with your littles no matter what their attitude is about reading and writing over summer!

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