School’s out for the summer! We all remember the anticipation we had as children as we waited for the clock to reach the final moments of the semester. After all, we had dreamed all school year of the excitement for the warmer weather and fun of getting back to our summer camps. But, when thinking about all of this, a certain thought inevitably comes to mind… when the pencils are put down, is my child’s intellectual development at risk? It stands to reason that the longer kids are out of school, the more their willingness and ability to learn will dwindle.
Without the consistent practice of mathematics, reading and language exercises, students will lose certain academic skills they’ve developed throughout the previous school year. In fact, it could take up to two months from the first day of school for a student’s brain development to get back on track. There have also been correlations found between poor high school achievement and summer learning loss during the primary years of a student’s school career. BUT – there is good news! There are certain steps we can take every summer to ensure we’re giving our children their best chance to succeed academically.
How to keep your child on the right track
We’ll never be able to perfectly replicate the learning conditions that a school will offer (and we wouldn’t want to!), but here are some methods we can use to find that brain development/fun balance:
1. Find some light reading
According to an Oxford Learning study, typically two months of reading skills are lost over the summer. Not all children are naturally drawn to books, so try discovering a genre that would appeal to them; there are many great children’s books like the Harry Potter series or the Hunger Games that have turned millions of children onto reading!
2. Gather the right games
If your child isn’t so willing to read, there are certain games that will maintain and develop their reading and language skills (reading, disguised!). Word games like Scrabble, Boggle, Mad Gab and Taboo inspire your child to use their knowledge of the English language, think creatively, learn new words, and have a blast!
There are also many video games that push your child to come up with creative solutions while problem-solving. Look for lists online such as the best educational games to boost your child’s development both during the summer and the school year.
3. Choose a great summer camp
One of the best ways to ensure your child doesn’t fall victim to the summer learning gap is to enroll them in a summer day camp! These camps are geared towards providing children with the fun and exciting activities they love, while simultaneously encouraging them to develop their cognitive and physical skills. Adventure Valley Day Camp specifically prides itself on the ability to provide every child in the GTA with the right mix of fun and “edu-tainment”.
AVDC also has specialty programs such as our Language and Literacy Camp that offers a group approach to making your child a more confident reader, writer, and speaker. Our sport programs help keep your children active while refining their motor and teamwork skills. And of course we always recommend our traditional camping options that have your child explore and learn in countless different areas.
With all of our different camps, we emphasize our commitment to parents that their children will be returning in September refreshed, sharp and ready to do some great work!