5 Ways for Parents to Encourage Summer Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed education over the past few months. Most kids have been out of school since March, and it is unclear if school buildings will reopen in the fall. In the meantime, schools have closed for summer vacation. But that doesn’t mean learning should stop! Here are News-O-Matic’s top five ways you can help your child develop skills and knowledge when school is out of session.

1. Download educational apps for kids.

School breaks might tempt kids to spend more time with their electronics. But not all screen time is necessarily bad. There are plenty of educational apps out there to keep students learning. If your child used distance learning apps for reading, math, or social studies over the past school year, you can see if they still have access to those resources to keep practicing their academic skills. In addition, the App Store offers recommendations for educational apps in different subject areas, which you can download on your own.


2. Read, read, read!

Kids who don’t read over the summer are at risk of falling behind when the school year starts again. Learning loss that occurs during summer vacation is known as the “summer slide.” But even a few minutes of reading per day can keep their skills sharp!

Libraries are often a go-to place for a fresh selection of books and summer reading challenges. Depending on where you live, libraries might remain closed indefinitely or have limited resources over the summer. However, you can see if your local library has a subscription to OverDrive or Hoopla, which offer e-books. You can also organize a book swap with friends or neighbors, or order books online. Encourage your child to pick out books about topics they find interesting. You can also try reading out loud with your child to turn reading into a fun family activity.

For fun (and age-appropriate) nonfiction reading, News-O-Matic publishes five news stories every weekday, including over the summer. With topics ranging from animals to sports to outer space, there’s always something new for kids to explore! News-O-Matic is available in the App Store or Google Play.


3. Play educational games as a family.

Looking for educational family fun? Break out a game that gets everyone thinking. Some of our favorites include Cranium, Brain Quest, and Scrabble. You can also make a game out of math flash cards!


4. Cook or make crafts together.

Reading and following instructions help kids to develop critical thinking skills. That’s why cooking and making crafts are ideal activities that combine hands-on learning with literacy practice. This summer, News-O-Matic will be publishing kid-friendly crafts and recipes to try at home. Bonus: Cooking often involves fractions, so there’s math practice, too!


5. Create a journal or a scrapbook.

Kids should keep up their writing skills, too. Have them write in a journal a few times each week or make an art project such as a collage or scrapbook where they draw pictures and write captions.

Which of these tips are YOU planning to use this year?

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