How to Keep Students Learning Over the Summer

School’s (almost) out! For kids, this means no homework, popsicles, and more time with the family. Parents get creative in order to keep their children busy, and teachers take advantage of the time off to rest, reflect, and prepare for the next school year.

In August, these teachers will have a classroom full of brand new students who may be excited to be back in school, but they may not be fully prepared academically. Research has shown that students score lower on tests at the end of summer than they do at the beginning of summer unless they’ve had educational opportunities through the summer months. Although, as a teacher, you may not have full control over what your students do over the summer, you can take some steps to ensure that they keep learning and improving their academic skills.

READING

There’s no need to convince any educator of the importance of reading. If the mind is a muscle, then reading is its workout. Provide a summer reading list to students or their parents with a variety of resources—books, magazines, comics, poems, or any other sort of text that will get students to exercise their mind. Let students choose their own books and even encourage parents to listen to audio books with their kids, which can introduce children to books above their reading level.

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TECHNOLOGY

Students have a myriad of online resources and educational games, whether it’s on a smartphone, tablet, computer, at home, or at the local library. It’s important to encourage kids to go outside and be active, but technology is an increasing part of society. If kids are going to play games, they might as well be learning something as well!

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JOURNALING

For kids, summer means adventure. From road trips and beach days to backyard games and even running errands with mom, these are the memories that will make up their childhood. It’s the perfect opportunity to encourage children to write down their memories. They can create scrapbooks with pictures, write in a journal daily, or even create a blog or Instagram page to document their adventures online. This will not only get students to practice their writing skills, but will also allow them to look back on these memories years from now.

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