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School breaks have been shown to be a time when children lose knowledge–whether they are short or long breaks. To put it in perspective for Elementary Students, there are studies that show clear evidence about loss over the summer.
- Elementary Students typically lose about 2.6 months worth of math skills over the summer months.
- Students usually start the school year at a lower place on standardized test than when they finished the year before.
Source: Reading is Fundamental
As parents, the last thing we want is for our kids to go back to school after a break forgetting anything they knew before the break. But who wants to spend their break sitting around doing cut and dry boring school work? To keep educating over breaks, we have to find ways to make it a part of our day, make it fun and make it meaningful!
Now that your child is in elementary school, it is harder to find ways to keep education as fun and carefree as when they were younger. However, with what we know about the slip that happens over breaks, we know how important it is to keep those brains active! Try these tips and activities at home to keep educating over breaks.
It’s all about books
Take a trip to the bookstore or library and let your child pick out a book–just one–to get started. Let your child read the book with you. If your child is still learning how to read, take turns reading pages. If your child is an older elementary student, your child can read the book alone. As you finish one book, before starting the next, try some of the fun follow-up activities listed below that incorporate writing activities into learning in a fun way!
Follow up book activities
- Write a comic strip about your favorite part of the book
- Draw a picture of your favorite character. Write what you think their favorite things are-favorite food, color, movie, etc…
- Write a different ending to story
- Draw your favorite setting from the story and put yourself in the setting. Write sentences to go with yourself in that setting
Cooking equals math
Your child doesn’t have to know they are learning! All of cooking is learning. It is reading, measuring, adding, timing, and even some social studies because you are letting people try your food. The older your child is, the more independence they can have in the kitchen. My daughter started cooking with me from an early age. Now a teenager, she adapts recipes and cooks on her own! Cooking together is a perfect way your child will never even realize they are keeping up with their studies.
Playing games with others
The abundance of learning games out there is amazing. Anything such as Boggle, Sequence, Uno, and Apples to Apples Junior are not only fun, but they are still learning. You never stop learning when you’re playing games with others.
Whether you live in a cold climate or a hot one, chances are there’s a time of day you can get outside (except of course in extreme cold and extreme heat). In the article Moving and Grooving, there are 15 suggested activities to keep your children moving indoors and outdoors. In the summer, maybe your child draws with sidewalk chalk.We discovered and love Snow Painting as a winter activity!
Whatever your child does, letting them have a chance to play and be a kid is important, too. Having a balance of activities and downtime will be sure to keep your child from falling behind during any breaks!