Summer Break Is Here
Most teachers are exhausted and need to take a break. Kids are also needing a break, however, it is important to remember to find a balance between taking a break from school and continuing to practice skills and concepts learned throughout the year.
Thinking about doing school work may seem daunting, but there are many ways to make academics fun during the summer.
Summer Learning Opportunities
Some places have some great summer camps and summer school activities available for kids. Not all of these options are available for all kids because of cost, but there may be some that are available in your area. The public library may also have activities and programs available for the kids.
Where I live, we are fortunate because there are many different summer school activities happening in our school district. These courses are available to any of our students for free, so it opens the door for all kids to participate. My daughter-in-law is doing a session on science and art and she plans on getting outdoors to do science activities in the nearby forest and at the beach as part of her activities. What a great way to take what has been learned into the real world. Many other sessions also involve academics and sports or other real life experiences.
Connecting academics and fun activities helps to keep kids engaged and learning throughout the summer. This really makes a difference when they return to school. I think we have all experienced something like the "summer slide" when we have not used a skill for a long time. I think this is especially true during the time we spent doing everything differently because of the pandemic.
Now that we are approaching a summer that is more in character with what we were used to, we need to reacquaint ourselves to the types of activities and experiences we used to take for granted.
The Importance Of Review After A Break
Let's be honest, not many of us remember the math and science concepts we learned in school unless we are using them now or we have been revisiting them for teaching. That doesn't mean we can't review them and do a refresh for our brains. Languages are the same. They become rusty if we don't use them for a long time. It's like we go into a "memory fog".
When I stopped teaching music in French, I didn't use my French for several years. It took some time for me to feel comfortable using it again. Once I got going, it did come back and I was able to go into my grandson's classroom and start volunteering there. I also tutored some middle school late immersion students. During the pandemic, I haven't been using it, so I feel that I will need to refresh again, but it will be much faster this time.
Kids also forget what they have learned if they don't revisit it often. It sometimes feels like they need to relearn almost everything when they return after a long break. That is why it is important to do some sort of review teaching as we begin a new term with them. Reviewing old skills and concepts before introducing new ones may sometimes feel like it takes too much time, but without it, many kids will be left behind because they won't truly be able to understand the new concepts. In the long term, that review that is done when they return will reap many benefits down the road.
Last year, I wrote a series of blog posts of tips for supporting primary kids during the summer. Next week I will be doing a roundup of different teaching tips and ideas for summer. In the meantime, check out my related posts at the end of this blog posts for some ideas.
If you are just wrapping up your school year, I hope you have a wonderful and refreshing summer break. If you are part way through your break already, I hope it has been relaxing or adventurous and that you have been able to recharge as you prepare for a new school year in a few weeks. Happy summer everyone!
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.