Summer time doesn’t mean you should stop learning! Summer learning loss is a real issue, but it only takes about two hours a week to prevent the summer slide. Here are 13 fun resources that won’t even feel like learning!
Summer Learning Loss
Are you worried about your child becoming a victim of the summer slide?
Well, summer is officially here – and this is the first year where I’ve had a kid in school, so I’m extra excited.
While some people dread summer and having their kids around 24/7, I have been counting the days for school to get out…because I really just love having Jack around. I’m trying not to think about him being in school full-time this fall!
This is also the first year I’ve really thought about the “summer slide” as some people refer to it. The summer slide is basically the idea that some kids aren’t being academically challenged during the summer and tend to regress a little bit in the academic strides they made during the school year.
Here are a few statistics that you might find interesting (or alarming):
Summer Slide Statistics
- One month of overall learning lost over the summer
- Six weeks are spent during the beginning of the school year to make up for summer learning loss
- differences in children’s summer learning experiences during elementary school years can impact future graduation and college attendance
- Summer learning loss can be seen as early as the first grade
- Two months of reading skills can be lost over the summer
- It is more likely to affect children that come from low-income families or areas
- Students who have been shown to suffer from the summer slide are, on average, two years behind
But the good news is – it IS preventable. Just 2-3 hours a week of educational enrichment can make all the difference – and this can be as simple as reading.
While I strongly believe children should play outside lots during the summer, I do think it’s important to encourage them to keep learning. Some of the best learning can happen outside the classroom walls.
In this day and age, though, it can be tempting for children to just spend their whole summers behind a screen playing games and not doing anything that encourages learning.
But I encourage you not to let this happen. Beyond just learning from their environment around them, there are a lot of great resources out there to help prevent the summer slide and develop even more skills over the summer that will benefit them in the upcoming school year – as well as in life in general.
Jack has become a pretty advanced reader for his age this past year, so a lot of our summer will be spent encouraging that. I think reading is one of the best things you can encourage your child to do during the summer! I would hate to see him slip behind from the strides he has made.
With that said, I thought I would share some different great resources to help prevent that summer regression!
Summer Learning Activities
There are SO many benefits that come with learning a second language, and the younger you are when you are introduced to a second language, the quicker you can pick it up.
I’ve always thought Rosetta Stone was a great option and a leader in the language-learning sphere. I was really excited to hear about their online subscription (which you can access via a mobile device or computer), which is a bit more affordable than paying for a subscription outright (and it’s more flexible since you can use it on your phone or tablet).
Jack and I are planning to try and learn Spanish together, so I’m excited to use Rosetta Stone to do just that. They offer a bunch of different languages, so make sure you check it out. You can typically get a free trial of it!
Of all the subscription boxes out there for kids, Kiwi Crate is the one that I hear about most often. I was so excited to finally be able to try them out recently. My boys were SO excited to get theirs in the mail.
Kiwi Crate has a variety of subscription boxes for babies all the way up to big kids, and they are all centered on learning – specifically STEM. They are affordable as well, and I was very impressed with everything that was included.
You can try out any box for FREE (just pay to ship) through our exclusive partner link. I absolutely LOVE the ones we received, and I think any child would enjoy using these this summer.
I am a big fan of teaching children to cook and having them enjoy being in the kitchen. Not only does it help them be more adventerous in the kitchen, but it’s truly a life skill…and it can help develop other skills (fine motor, math, reading and following instructions, and more).
I stumbled upon this online cooking course for children a few months ago, and I absolutely love what it has to offer. The videos and instructions are so easy to follow, and it can be easily adapted for a variety of different ages. Jack really enjoyed the lessons that we have done together.
This is a really neat online learning community geared toward children 6-16. They have online courses on different creative topics such as drawing, science experiments, inventions, etc. It encourages “smart screen time” and allows them to learn while they are on their screens. It’s a really cool community, and I think it’s perfect for continued summer learning. You can sign up for a free trial here.
This is an excellent resource for helping children to learn their letters and sounds and begin to learn to read. We’ve used it with Jack since he was about three. I am planning to pull this out for Jack soon because I think it will help him continue to develop all the reading skills he learned earlier in the year. It’s pretty affordable, and it can be used for multiple children as it has options for pre-k through early elementary. You can even get your first month free!
Have you heard of Usbourne books? They are probably my favorite line of books out there. They have high quality and engaging books for all ages – from infant on up to teenager. They are beautiful and high quality! What I would suggest for summer for younger children are their wipe clean books. They help to develop reading and writing skills, and they can be easily reused over and over again. They have lots of books for older kids as well that are great for keeping up learning through the summer. Even if you went with some of their fiction selections, those are wonderful as well. Any reading is great!
I learned about the Amazon STEM club at a recent conference I went to, and I was so impressed! For a monthly fee of $19.99, your child will receive a box with high quality, curated STEM products that are geared toward their age. They have boxes for the age ranges of 3-4, 5-7, and 8-13. The reviews for them are outstanding, and the products that you receive are valued far above that of the cost of the box. STEM learning is so beneficial, and this is a fun box for your child to look forward to each month full of engaging learning.
There are so many benefits to being involved in music, and during the summer, it can be a great time to try and pick up a new instrument. I think the piano is one of the most traditional instruments to learn, and I wish I knew how to play it better!
While you could definitely take in person piano lessons, if you are looking for something more flexible, there are a lot of great online options nowadays. There are websites and mobile apps – most of which require some kind of fee – but it allows your child to learn from the comfort of their home. Here are a few options:
We have gotten a few Pley boxes over the last year, and they are really fun. The National Geographic box is full of education resources that are really engaging and fun. It’s perfect for an animal lover! They also have a Hot Wheels Box, which we LOVE. It may not be traditional learning, but it’s imaginative. They also offer a Princess box.
Here is an unboxing we did of one of the Hot Wheels Boxes:
This is a monthly subscription box that focuses on three main areas of learning – mindfulness, cognitive growth, and creativity. Starting at $18.95 a month, each box comes with hands-on crafts and worksheets that you combine with online lessons. They are designed to be done together as a family. I think it’s a really unique subscription box that encourages imaginative play, which I think is some of the type of learning!
You can sign up here and get 15% off with the code CLARKSCONDENSED15.
This is one of our favorite books that we used to help Jack learn how to read. I’ll admit we didn’t get all the way through it, but I feel like it really helped him to develop essential phonics and reading skills. I know a lot of other people who have raved about this book, so if reading is something you are focusing on this summer, this is a great one to get. Each lesson just takes about 15 minutes.
There are so many awesome workbooks out there for all ages. Even the Dollar Tree has some high quality ones. My sister always orders some on Amazon that are age/grade appropriate for her kids, and they enjoy doing them. I think the Brain Quest ones look awesome.
We were recently sent the “Big Fun” Highlight Books for preschool and first grade. They came just in time for our trip to South Carolina. I was really impressed with all the activities, and our boys have been so excited to use them. Highlight has some many great offering beyond the activity books as well:
Summer Reading Programs
Sign up for a summer reading program! Most libraries across the country offer one, so I would check with your local library. Our library also offers a lot of really fun summer programs that encourage learning and socializing with other children, which are really fun. There are also reading programs from different book stores, so I would just search online for ones near you. Anything that encourages more learning is great for the summer!
Store Classes – JoAnn’s, Michael’s, Home Depot, etc.
A lot of stores offer hands on classes during the summer. Many of them are doing crafts, but these can help to develop important skills….and they are just fun! Sometimes they are paid and sometimes they are free, but if they do cost money, it’s usually just a few dollars. Michael’s has one of the best programs, so if you have that store near you, I would sign up asap!