4 Tips to Create a Summer Learning Plan With Your Child

For most students, continued learning is not at the top of their must-do summer activities list. However, with the absence of regular school studies, it’s important to find ways for your student to retain the skills and material learned during the school year. Developing a game plan to prevent summer slide can benefit your student’s education and introduce fun academically-geared activities into your summer plans. Tips for creating a summer learning plan with your child include planning a variety of activities, creating a smart schedule, and focusing plans toward your child’s interests.

Hoping to find productive ways to include learning in your child’s summer? Keep reading to learn four tips to create a summer learning plan with your child.

Create a summer learning plan by curating a variety of activities

For many students, learning involves sitting down at a desk and completing worksheets or assignments. During the summer, however, it can understandably be challenging to get your student to focus in the same way they have throughout the school year. When creating a summer learning plan with your child, consider a wide variety of activities that can help boost your student’s learning while keeping their minds and bodies active. First, make a list of all the summer plans you already have, such as family vacations and summer camps. Next, create a plan to incorporate other activities, such as the following:

  • A summer reading list

  • Educationally focused screen time

  • At-home science experiments

  • Family field trips

  • Volunteer opportunities

Traditional worksheets or studying can be included if you like, but be sure not to overwhelm your child with too many of these activities. If you’re up for it, you can also encourage your child to invite a friend or two on a trip to a local museum, zoo, aquarium, or other community center.

[RELATED: 4 Tips to Prevent Summer Slide]

Create a summer learning plan by emphasizing structure

It’s common for your students to be less-than-enthused about learning during the summer months—especially after a highly structured academic year. Structure, however, in a summer learning plan can help motivate your child and keep things exciting. For example, you might incorporate structure in your summer learning plan by designating certain days or times of the week to do specific activities, such as a day to go to the library or on a field trip. Structure can also come through scheduled sports activities or music lessons. If your child feels completely unmotivated, you might consider a more explicitly structured motivation system that involves points.

[RELATED: 6 Activities to Keep Students Learning This Summer]

Create a summer learning plan by incorporating your child’s interests

The summer is a great opportunity for your student to explore their interests. For your child, this could involve reading a series they’ve had their eye on, but didn’t have time to enjoy during the school year. If they like a particular branch of science, direct them toward experiments they can do at home. Your student can also explore documentaries, TV shows, or podcasts that focus on their interests. Consider encouraging them to learn the historical background of a sport or hobby that they like, or have them simply think about the connections between their non-academic interests and other areas of their lives. Think of creative ways your student can keep their brain active during the summer months while simultaneously exploring one or more of their interests.

Create a summer learning plan by having regular check-ins

Since your child will be doing the learning, you’ll want to have regular check-ins with them to see what’s working and what’s not. You’ll want to gauge your child’s experience and ask them for ideas of what could be done differently in their summer learning plan. This helps give your child more agency over their time and teaches important skills of reflection and problem-solving. You’ll likely learn along the way different things you can do to support your child during these summer months.

[RELATED: 3 Crafts to Promote Literacy Skills This Summer]

Lastly, keep notes of your summer learning plan and initial reflections that you have. This will help you as you plan for next year’s summer.

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