We’d like to share our thoughts on a common concern for parents: how to keep kids motivated to keep up with school practices over the summer.
Kids love summer. It’s a break from school’s rigid routine—a chance to play outside, try new things, and forge new friendships. Among adults, however, Summer Vacation is a controversial subject.
To its supporters, Summer Break represents a time for children to escape the academic and social pressures of school. Meeting the demands of teachers and peers can be stressful for children. During Summer Vacation, Kids are free from their school-identities. Furthermore, Summer Camps offer children hands-on learning experiences through outdoor play, novel activities, and a new social setting.
Some educators and parents worry that the benefits of Summer Break come at too high a cost for children: loss of academic knowledge and skills. One average, kids lose one full month of learning over the summer. Low-income children are disproportionately affected.
So how can your child avoid the ‘summer slide’?
Choosing the right summer camp is a good place to start. If possible, enrol your child in a camp that incorporatessome academic learning into its programming. Laurus Summer Camp offers academic Specialized Training Areas. You can sign your child up for English, French, math or science. For 75 minutes per-day, your child will have an opportunity to retain and build upon their academic progress.
Reading for pleasure is another great way for children to maintain academic skills during the summer. For advice on how to motivate your child, check out this fantastic article from The Atlantic: “How to Trick Your Kids Into Reading All Summer Long.”
The article’s thesis states that parents should not coerce or bribe their children into reading; research suggests that kids will read less after those punishments and rewards are gone. Instead, parents should employ strategies that encourage children to read on their own. To start, store age-appropriate books wherever kids are bored: in their rooms, in the bathroom, and in the car. You can buy books new or used, but a library card is the most cost-effective way to tempt your kids with a house full of books. The books themselves don’t need to be literary classics. The goal is to read for pleasure, so experiment with book selection and cater to your child’s tastes. Non-fiction, graphic novelsand manga are a few genres that kids enjoy but rarely encounter in the classroom. Shakespeare will still be there for them come September.
Finally, if you’re concerned about maintaining your child’s academic skills during the summer, don’t hesitate to contact their teachers. A good educator will be familiar with your child’s scholastic needs and point you in the right direction in terms of a light summer regiment. 10 minutes of review per-day could make all the difference.
All that being said, we still stand by Laurus Summer Camp’s Number One Rule of Summer Camp: have fun!