Yay! Summer Break is here! Now, what can you do to keep your children engaged and not constantly asking for you to keep them entertained?
It is imperative that children remain engaged over the summer. If they do not, they will fall victim to the inevitable “summer slide.” Children stop actively learning during the summer months. This causes them to lose some of what was learned during the previous school year. This is known as “summer slide,” “brain drain,” or “summer learning loss.” As stated by iD Tech, “Research indicates two months of reading skills and two and a half months of math skills are lost over a single summer.” Summer slide is cumulative, so by the time students reach middle and high school, there is potential for years of learning to be lost.
Chatham County Schools’ have provided numerous learning opportunities for the students over the summer. These opportunities can be found at www.chatham.k12.nc.us. Click on the Programs tab and select Summer Learning Opportunities.
Outside of what the school offers, I have found several free virtual summer camps. These camps will help the children socialize with others and remain engaged with learning to help prevent the summer learning loss. Summer Camp Hub, which can be found at: https://summercamphub.com/free-online-summer-camps has provided the following free virtual summer camps:
Create & Learn’s Coding Camps: https://www.create-learn.us/
“Create & Learn offers award-winning virtual coding camps for free! Kids can learn how to code their own Roblox world, code games in Minecraft, or make original animations in Scratch. They also offer free intro camps in Game Development, Scratch, Python, Artificial Intelligence, and more, so your child can find something they like while developing critical thinking skills and expanding their creativity.”
Camp Wonderopolis: https://camp.wonderopolis.org/
“Camp Wonderopolis is one of the most highly regarded digital summer camps on the planet that is entirely free. Parents and children will find a wide variety of fun and engaging summer camp activities to take part in when they dive headfirst into Camp Wonderopolis.”
Virtual 4-H Camp: https://4-h.org/about/4-h-at-home/camp/
“Virtual 4-H Camp helps families experience the typical summer camp experience indoors. You can find all sorts of the usual camp activities like arts & crafts, cooking projects, STEM learning programs, and much more. They even include camp songs on the site to play in the background to get into the camp spirit.”
Maker Summer Camp: https://makercamp.com/
“Makers Summer Camp focuses on hands-on learning for children. It’s a project focused camp where your child builds things based on their interests. With a focus on art, science, and technology it brings multiple disciplines together. Your child receives daily activities they may like ranging from creating slime to building unique art portraits.”
Students can also utilize the free resources provided by Khan Academy, explore nature, prepare a meal, perform a science experiment, volunteer for local nonprofits or elderly neighbors, and get lost in an adventure by reading. The Chatham Education Foundation has also compiled a list of resources to use: https://www.chathameducationfoundation.org/at-home-learning-resources.
Enjoy your summer and make memories! Remember to stay engaged!