Students often experience learning loss during the summer months, sometimes referred to as the “summer slide.” To help avoid this gap in academic progress, here are 6 simple ways to keep your teen motivated to learn over the summer!
1. Set goals. Have your teen come up with a goal for the summer – something they want to accomplish during their time off from school. This can be anything from learning to play an instrument to practicing a sport – simply having a goal to work towards provides a sense of structure during the summer months and can act as a source of continuous motivation. Best of all, your teen will feel proud of their accomplishments!
2. Encourage reading. During summer vacation, any form of literature is helpful to keep students’ minds active and engaged. Traditional books are excellent, but some students may prefer modern options like e-readers or tablets. Reading in any form is beneficial, so the material itself doesn’t have to be strictly academic. Fiction stories, comic books, and graphic novels are all great options as well!
3. Entertainment. Watch films, documentaries, and television programs that contain educational, scientific, or historic content. Nature series (like BBC’s Planet Earth for instance) are clearly educational, but that doesn’t mean fictional entertainment is without value. Some science fiction movies may not be entirely realistic, but they can still motivate teens to further research subjects they normally wouldn’t have been exposed to (space travel, for example).
4. Learning apps. Everyone’s got a phone these days, so learning apps are a convenient way to get in some practice even while you’re on the go! Just a few minutes each day is enough to stay refreshed on recent material, and apps that offer short practice problems or exercises are a perfect way to get in this daily practice without it feeling like a chore. Learning apps are fun and are often designed to play like games, so it shouldn’t be too hard to motivate your kids to practice a little bit each day.
5. Academic excursions. Take a family trip that has educational value – this could be anything from a nature hike to a science museum visit! Not only will these experiences inspire your teen to learn more about the topics that interest them, but they will also create valuable family memories of the summer months. Due to current health guidelines on social distancing, options may be limited at the moment – so make sure to check first with your local resources to find out what’s open.
6. Work with a tutor! Periodic tutoring sessions during the summer are helpful for all students, even if they haven’t faced academic difficulties in the past. To help avoid the summer slide, tutors can work with students on maintenance exercises to ensure they are fully prepared for next year’s material. In addition, tutors also have the unique ability to go back and revisit previous areas that may have needed extra practice. Online tutoring is a popular option right now given current health guidelines – click here to find out more about Tutor Doctor’s online learning programs!