Simple Ways to Keep Your Child Motivated to Learn This Summer

Most kids want to spend their summers playing with friends and relaxing out of school. However, the summer brain drain is a real issue for both teachers and parents. Brain drain occurs when kids forget what they learned in school and have to relearn it after summer. You can prevent brain drain by engaging your child even when they are on break.

Follow these tips

1. Find an online tutor.

If your child struggled in a particular subject last year, consider hiring a tutor to help them relearn the material and reinforce concepts they already know. This is particularly important in 2020, where many students fell behind because of virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online mathematics tutor can help students with basic algebra all the way up to advanced calculus.

An online tutor can offer more than just homework help. They can create activities for kids to complete and explain difficult concepts in different ways that connect with kids. Hiring a math tutor ahead of the school year can prepare your child for concepts they are about to learn.

2. Look for fun and educational activities.

Many of the activities and games you play over the summer can be educational. A visit to the beach can be an opportunity to learn about tides, marine biology, or different types of clouds. A game of tennis can be used to teach about arcs and inertia. Think about what your kids learn when they play and use games as jumping-off points for lessons.

You can also create educational activities for your kids. For example, if you start a garden and plant a flamingo flower, you can talk about how the flower got its name, its foliage, and whether it needs direct sunlight or indirect light. Anything you do can have a learning element.

3. Start a family book club.

You lead by example with the activities that you do. If you never read, then why should your child be motivated to? This summer, pick a few books that you are interested in and start a family book club. Everyone will read a few books based on their reading levels and then talk about them.

You can even choose books that all have the same theme (like sports or history) so your discussion focuses on one topic even though everyone read something different. TIME magazine curated a list of children’s books that you can start with.

4. Partner with other families in your neighborhood.

If your child feels like they are the only one who has to learn, they might not be interested in your educational games or lessons. Consider partnering with another parent (or group of parents) to prevent summer brain drain together. Each parent can take a week in the month to create a group activity that is educational. Kids could learn basic geometry through a fun craft or explore science concepts by stargazing. This way, you almost create an educational summer camp for the kids of your neighborhood.

5. Reward them when they make progress.

If your child reads a certain number of books this summer or completes a set number of math lessons, reward them. This gives your child an incentive to learn and pay attention to their summer activities. This reward could be small (like an ice cream outing) or large (like a day at the local theme park).

Even if your child doesn’t want to learn over the summer, these incentives will encourage them to participate in the activities you set up and take your lesson plans seriously.

You have an opportunity to make learning fun by setting up different activities and games this summer. Your child can return to the classroom free of summer brain drain and eager to keep learning.