Summer break is a great time to continue learning
While some see summer as a time for relaxation, this time off from classes is just as important as the school year! Summer break is a great time to keep kids’ brains sharp through fun and educational summer camps, continued summer learning, and at-home learning activities. While the research is inconsistent on “summer learning loss” – the theory that students regress academically over summer – there is no debate on the positive impact of year-round learning. Regardless of a child’s age, continued active learning through summer camps or summer learning programs provide tons of benefits, including exploring new areas of interest, practicing and reinforcing academic skills, and maintaining important connections with classmates and teachers.
Choosing a fun & stimulating summer camp
With so many options available, choosing a summer camp can be daunting! To help narrow the options, we recommend parents look for two key elements:
- Great camps have active and varied itineraries! To keep kids interested for weeks it’s important that summer camps offer a variety of activities that stimulate kids’ minds and bodies.
- The right camp aligns with kids’ hobbies or introduces them to new activities that expand on their current interests. Summer is a great time to explore new activities and choosing a camp that builds on their academic passions is a perfect way to ensure children have fun while learning. If your child loves creative projects, they can learn while playing during Minecraft camp! If they love performing arts, theatre camp is right for them!
At Country Day School, our summer camp is developed for children to try new physical activities and explore a varied curriculum. This year, CDS is offering a variety of fun and stimulating camps for kids of all ages! From performing arts camp, where children in grades 2 – 9 shine on stage, to middle school adventure camp with fun, brain-expanding lessons into activities like 3D printing and minecraft!
When kids have the opportunity to see their dreams and creations come to fruition, they become motivated and want to continue learning and exploring. The CDS middle school camp curriculum covers animal education, physical activity like disc golf, and problem-solving fun in zombie survival camp. Summer camp is about learning with a fun approach while kids test their personal limits and increase their development and growth throughout the summer.
Continued summer learning
Another way to avoid summer learning loss is with a structured Summer Learning program, where children can practice academic skills in preparation for Fall. There are multiple benefits to continued summer learning, including:
- Reinforcing the skills & knowledge learned over the past year so the beginning of the school year flows right into learning, instead of trying to catch up.
- Remediating or helping catch up an area of need to help kids stay on track with their peers.This is especially useful with math and language arts since these subjects build on each lesson.
- Building confidence & motivation to continue succeeding in subjects of interest. Summer learning may even help students jump to more advanced work!
CDS initiated a Summer Learning Program in 2020 because of COVID-19 closures. The new program gave an opportunity for students and families to succeed during the tough summer months. The CDS Summer Learning Program will now be an ongoing offering for children entering kindergarten through eighth grade. The curriculum is family-friendly and efficient, and the virtual learning program is flexible and accommodates summer schedules. As a bonus, the program is free for students who are enrolled for the following fall semester! More information about SL 2021 is coming soon.
At-home summer activities
If your child prefers to stay home over summer, there are still many ways to stimulate learning! Like great summer camps, at-home activities should be active and touch on a variety of interests. Here are some ideas for fun learning at-home:
- Animal learning: younger kids can describe the animals they see, older kids can recall facts about their environments, their food and characteristics. Try this in different settings: the park for a picnic, playing at the beach or a walk in the neighborhood.
- Arts & crafts projects: set up a space outdoors and let the kids create a masterpiece of something they see in nature with paint, modeling clay or craft supplies. Provide unconventional tools like bubble wrap, boxes, twigs, and dried pasta. When they are done, have them describe in detail what they made and why.
- Sorting games: use flash cards of animate and inanimate objects during a hands-on learning time. Try this game in different environments like the park, the beach or the backyard and take the “I Spy” game to the next level.
Summer is a great time of year for children to learn. CDS is here to support families and provide a learning environment that works best for your family. Through summer camps, Summer Learning Program and at-home learning, every activity a child does while not in school has a positive impact on their overall development. Learn more about summer camp or the Summer Learning Program and sign up today!