A major problem facing educators is how to keep students engaged over summer break. Students are out of school for a few months and most are not even thinking about what they learned that year or trying to refresh their memories of what they learned in math in March. It’s understandable that students need a break from school (educators do too!), but losing knowledge over the summer leads to time spent during the upcoming school year re-teaching information. That time could be better spent on other pursuits and teaching students new ideas and topics. As an educator, here are some ways you can encourage students to stay engaged in learning over the summer and avoid the summer slump!
It’s likely you and/or your district already practice this tip, but it’s still worth mentioning. Create a reading list for your class that they can use over the summer. Whether the books even have anything to do with your class or are just to keep students reading is up to you!
Regardless of where you live, there’s sure to be plenty of historic or educational sites students can visit in the summer. Find lists of free events and places to visit and then hand them out to your students.
If students want to take a more formal approach to learning over the summer, encourage them to look into online classes. If they can afford it, most community and local colleges have summer classes available for local students to take online. There are also plenty of free classes and resources on the internet that students can utilize and take classes through.
Volunteering can be a very educational opportunity, even if it’s just learning how to interact with other people from different walks of life. Philanthropies are always happy to have more volunteers and often have specific programs for students to participate in. Help your students pinpoint a cause they’re passionate about and then find an organization working on that cause.
Giving students schedules they can follow over the summer is a good way to help encourage them to learn. Lots of students want to learn over the summer, but do not know where to start. Offering an outline for them to follow makes summer learning easier.
For students who are more hesitant to give their precious summer hours up to learning, it’s helpful to offer some kind of incentives for them to stay engaged over the summer. Let students know that if they meet certain goals or complete specific assignments, they’ll get something when they come back to school. Offer gift cards, a homework pass, or something else that appeals to students.
Finally, if you’re compiling a list of resources and a schedule students can follow, make sure parents are involved too. It’ll be easier for students to stay engaged over the summer if their parents are supporting them. Some parents might also want their children to learn over the summer, but aren’t sure where to start. Parents can be your best allies, so get them involved in the process.