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Maintaining skills and learning over the summer

If you're a parent with concerns about summer learning regression, you're probably right. The 'summer slide' is a phenomenon where children can lose some of the academic gains they made during the school year. But worry not, there is plenty you can do at home to minimise the effects of the long summer break!

  1. Encourage Reading: With your child, create a summer reading list tailored to their interests and reading level. Visits to local libraries and daily reading time are great boredom-busters! Maintain your term-time routine, of reading daily with your child. 
  2. Educational Activities and Games: Board games, puzzles, and educational apps can reinforce skills in maths, language, and critical thinking. Games like Scrabble or Boggle can enhance vocabulary and help with spelling, while puzzles and strategy games can improve problem-solving abilities.
  3. Hands-On Learning: Summer is an excellent time for experiential learning. Parents can involve children in cooking, which teaches maths through measuring ingredients, and science through understanding cooking processes. Gardening can be another hands-on learning opportunity, teaching children about biology, ecology, and responsibility.
  4. Summer Camps and Workshops: Enrolling children in summer camps or workshops can provide structured learning environments. Many camps offer specialised programs in areas such as robotics, coding, creative writing, and science, keeping children engaged and intellectually stimulated. It's also a chance to make new friends - great for their social development!
  5. Maintain a Routine: Keeping a consistent daily routine that includes time for educational activities can help children to retain their learning habits.
  6. Day Trips and Exploration: Visiting museums, zoos, and historical sites can provide educational enrichment. Plan trips that align with your child's interests, or topics they have learned at school. 
  7. Online Learning Resources: Websites like BBC Bitesize, National Geographic Kids, and various educational YouTube channels provide interactive and engaging content in a wide range of subjects. Your school probably already gives you access to some platforms like EdShed or TimeTables Rockstarz. 

Strategies like these should help your children to maintain their skills and knowledge over the summer, without too much effort or cost to you! Keeping a daily diary is another great way to maintain their literacy skills, and doubles-up as a lovely memento of all they have enjoyed during their holiday. 

Philippa Lang is Head of The Prep School

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