Published: June 15, 2021
With the onset of summer corresponding with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the proliferation of available vaccines for all age groups, the future is looking bright. Students who’ve spent the school year entirely or mostly at home, learning online, may now finally return to a world that very much resembles the one they enjoyed before the onset of the pandemic.
This is cause for celebration.
At the same time, however, it’s crucial that over the course of the summer our children stay intellectually stimulated and motivated to further their academic growth. The pandemic has had a detrimental effect on their education. The summer marks a chance for our children to combat learning loss and stay academically motivated so that, when they return to school in the fall, they’ll be more than prepared.
Combatting Learning Loss
Without the strict structure that school offers, keeping kids focused this summer amid all the distractions will require alternative pedagogical resources such as online home tutoring or learning pods.
Online home tutoring will always be an excellent resource for parents invested in their kids’ growth and education. There is nothing quite like the bond between tutors and their students to keep students consistently focused and intellectually active during the summer.
Learning pods are another option. Whereas with traditional tutoring a certified teacher works with a pupil one-on-one, with a learning pod, a certified teacher works with a small, in-person group of students. A learning pod offers group-learning environments where students learn alongside peers and develop their social and leadership skills.
One way tutors can offer educational support to your kids this summer is by getting them involved in learning activities tailored specially to their level and unique learning styles.
Learning activities are activities that kids can do at home with or without the supervision of a tutor or caregiver. There are different activities for different disciplines. Doing science experiments is an excellent way for kids to improve their science skills, for instance.
Here we’ll look at a few learning activities that improve skills in the two core academic areas in which many students have fallen behind over the course of the pandemic: literacy and math.
Credit: Ashton Bingham Via Unsplash
Journaling—by hand—is an excellent activity for kids to develop as readers, writers, and communicators. The process is simple. To journal, have your children write whatever comes to mind, whatever is bothering them, whatever they’re curious about, or whatever they want to remember.
Your children don’t have to show their journal to you or their tutors — they’re free to write whatever they wish without fear of criticism.
Journaling helps kids get into the practice of writing every day in their own natural voices. It turns writing into a more comfortable, habitual process, which they don’t need to feel overly self-conscious about. Journaling stimulates the creative and critical parts of the brain. Writing what comes to mind is an excellent way for students to simultaneously nourish their imaginations and enhance their analytical skills.
More, journaling benefits mental health. The act of journaling enables students to express themselves, arrange their thoughts, prioritize their problems and fears, identify and transcribe negative self-talk, and reflect on unhelpful behavioral patterns and unproductive habits.
Another excellent activity for kids to develop their literary skills and imagination is writing stories.
For kids who are unsure what to write about, asking them write about something that interests them outside of school is an effective way of getting them started. For instance, kids who are interested in dinosaurs may wish to write a story about travelling back in time with their friends to the Jurassic period. Kids who are interested in magic may wish to write a story about wizards and warlocks.
Older students may enjoy writing in the vein of their favorite authors.
A great way to overcome writer’s block is to write out, word by word, the opening page of a novel or story and, from there, proceed in an original direction.
The story that students end up writing is not the point. The point is to get them writing about something they’re excited about.
When the writing process is going well, writers enter what psychologists call a “state of flow.” In such a state, writers are so fully immersed in the writing process they lose their sense of time, cease being self-conscious, and experience a feeling of complete control and total concentration.
Creativity is intelligence having fun. By encouraging your kids to write stories, you also teach them to have fun learning.
There are math games tailored for kids of all ages. When trying to figure out math games for your children to play, it helps assess what level your child is at; grade 3 math activities are obviously different from grade 12 math activities.
It also helps to choose a game that fits well with your child’s unique learning style — a kinaesthetic (hands-on) learner is more likely to enjoy a hands-on game that involves lots of movement, whereas a visual leaner is more likely to enjoy a game that involves analyzing and rearranging three-dimensional shapes. If you have any questions about which games are best for your children, certified tutors know which games suit a child best.
One activity for young kids, for example, is Frog Leap. Frog Leap involves two simple steps: first the leap, then the measuring. A kid jumps like a frog (or any other kind of animal), then measures the jump with a measuring tape.
Perhaps one of the best and most stimulating math activities for students of all ages and abilities is chess. Playing chess with a tutor is another first-rate way for students to improve not only their capacities as mathematicians, but also their literacy abilities, memory and problem-solving skills, creativity, and foresight.
In order for students to engage fully in learning activities this summer, it helps to set up learning environments that are most conducive to their learning styles. Doing so means setting up spaces that are free of the things that distract them.
Limiting time wasted on the internet is also crucial. So too is setting break times, establishing set work hours, and constructing an efficient workplace set up.
Our certified tutors offer consistent and structured learning environments that are free of distractions. They understand what learning activities best suit your children’s learning style and educational goals and work with them accordingly, either online or in person, one-on-one or in learning pods.
Setting students up with a Prep Academy Tutor for the summer will help them stay intellectually engaged and more than ready to return to school in the fall.