Written by John McEnhill (Curriculum Coordinator)
Summer learning loss is a well-researched and documented phenomenon in which students regress in their learning over the long summer holiday. Of course, summer is a time for children to catch up with family, who are often far away, and to enjoy a well-earned break. However, there are a few steps you can take to limit the effects of Summer Learning Loss without impacting on your family’s quality time together. It is worth noting that the amount of time needed to prevent Summer Learning Loss is relatively small: just 2 to 3 hours per week has been found to be effective.
- Use the school’s online subscriptions
School may be closed, but Mathletics and Raz Kids stay open! Both these apps are great for keeping students up to speed with Mathematics and Reading respectively over the long summer break.
- Read, Read, Read
We suggest your child reads every day over the holiday period. Books can be taken on planes, trains and automobiles – or anywhere else you may be! Reading in the morning, before other plans cause distraction, is a great idea. See our Year Level blogs for information about our summer photo reading challenge, and tips for reading material.
You can read pretty much anywhere!
- Stay active
Physical activity can also take a hit over the summer. There is a link between physical and mental fitness, so combat brain drain by taking walks and cycle rides, encouraging your child to play team games, or even taking up a new sport, such as swimming, tennis or rock climbing.
- Take advantage of local opportunities.
Lots of our families travel overseas during the summer. Take the opportunities to visit local museums, libraries, and art galleries with your children, and have them journal, either in words or pictures, or using technology, about what they have seen. Of course, if you are staying in Shanghai, there are fantastic opportunities to do these things here as well.
- Let them play!
Children learn so much through play. However, you can maximise the value of their play by talking to them about what they are doing, asking them to explain their games to you, and joining in with them to provide language rich opportunities. Much discussion we have with children is directional: telling them what to do. See the summer as an opportunity to discuss with your child things they love doing, and gain perspective on how they see the world.
We wish you a wonderful summer holiday, wherever you are in the world.