In the summer months, it can be very easy to slip out of routine. Every other month and every other season seems to be filled with scheduled activities and events. When summer comes around, it finally feels like we can breathe for a moment, and some of the regular chaos can begin to subside.
However, we don’t want routine to totally slip from our grasps, because academic achievements can quickly follow. The “summer slide” as it’s known is a term for the loss of education over the summer — particularly for students from lower-income backgrounds, studies have shown that children lose an average of two months of academic growth. This doesn’t just mean they aren’t studying for two months, but rather, they are two months behind where they were at the end of the previous school year.
At New Vision Charter School, we believe there’s an excellent balance that can be achieved, in which education can still be pursued in the summer. After all, we should never stop learning, and summer is an exceptional time to continue pursuing our interests — while maintaining all of the academic achievements that happened throughout the school year. Our charter school, in this three-part blog series, will dive into some of the summer activities you and your family can do to maintain education (and fun!) throughout the next few months.
Take a look at some literacy activities to enjoy, and find out more about enrollment for the upcoming school year with our charter school in Loveland!
Join a library program.
This might seem like one of the easiest literacy activities to do, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. Public libraries oftentimes have reading incentive programs for children and teenagers throughout the summer, complete with prizes and rewards for reading and finishing books. Replacing the iPad or video game controller with a book can admittedly be a challenge, but keeping up on consistent reading during the school year is essential to maintaining academic gains that have been made.
Write a book.
Once your child writes one book about something they love, there’s a good chance they’ll write even more. Writing is such an exemplary form literacy practice, because it relies on both reading and the application of reading (in the form of writing) — a great way to strengthen both skills in a fun and imaginative way. Your child might need help coming up with a topic, but from there, they’ll have an amazing time with some minor (to no) guidance from you as they go.
Your child can either publish their book the old-fashioned way, with paper that’s been bound together, you can buy them a blank notebook to construct their story, or you can utilize some awesome technology to make it more 21st-century applicable. StoryJumper is an online platform where your child can build their own book with ease. Complete with animation features and fun graphics and backgrounds to work with, kids of all ages love making books online. Plus, as an added bonus, you can purchase and print the books once they’re complete! Your whole family can enjoy the book, and kids will feel so proud knowing their book is on the bookshelf at home.
Make a weekly summer newspaper.
Younger children who are just developing their reading and writing skills might need guidance with this project, but they can definitely still contribute and help! For this activity, first go through some newspapers with your kids to help them look for inspiration. Have them analyze and observe the sports section, see what’s happening in the news, and help them get a feel for what makes a newspaper (don’t forget the comics and puzzles section, either!).
Next, help your kids come up with some ideas of topics that they could cover in their own paper. Whether it’s covering the events of the World Cup or the neighborhood baseball game, or reporting on animal and nature sightings in the area, they will love getting to investigate and write about what’s happening in their world. Plus, this helps them develop their writing and reading skills — but we won’t tell them that if you won’t.
Put on a play or make a movie.
Plays and movies — these really are helping developing literacy? Of course! In order to make either work of art, you need to have a script, complete with stage directions and dialogue. For the actors and theater-lovers, summer is an optimal time to have some fun with this type of literacy.
Some kids might be all about the live-action play, getting to organize rehearsals and put on a performance. For others, they might love the techie aspects of getting to film and edit a movie (an iPad with iMovie works great for this), and would prefer directing. No matter what they choose, this is an exceptional way to continue developing literacy habits over the summer.
In our next blog, we’ll cover some math activities that your child can enjoy this summer — though there’s a solid chance that you’ll enjoy these activities as well. Learning should always be enjoyable, and while it can sometimes present itself rigorously during the school year, it is still something to be cherished. New Vision Charter School is the charter school of choice in Loveland, and we’re positive that our school environment is a place where your child can prosper. Stay tuned until next time, and learn more about our school!