Egg shells, Legos, and hot coals
Broaching a conversation about summer learning with your child can feel like walking on egg shells or Legos or hot coals. You don’t want to do it! Summer is a really difficult balance. On the one hand, we all agree that our students need a break from the intensity of the school year to recharge their batteries and enjoy some R&R. They’ve earned it and deserve it.
On the other hand, we all know that summer learning loss is real and even a few hours each week of reading, writing, and/or math will make a big difference come September.
So, what to do? How do we square that circle and get some learning time built into summer? Two ideas:
- Rely on an “expert.” Reach out to your child’s teacher or guidance counselor and see what they recommend to keep your child’s mind engaged this summer. A brief email exchange will ensure that the work your child does during the summer will be strategic, focused, and productive. Plus, teacher recommendations often hold more weight than those of parents and caregivers.
- Give your student a voice and a choice, and keep it light and fun. Let them choose the book(s) they want to read (even if it’s a graphic novel!). Design a fun and interesting project to strengthen executive function skills. Or if you’re traveling for vacation, your student can chronicle your family’s adventures by becoming a photojournalist. Be creative!