Most can agree that the ending of this school year is more monumental than most. With the rapid transition from in-classroom to online learning that resulted from COVID-19 safety measures across the country, students (teachers, and parents, too!) had to adapt to and overcome some pretty unique challenges — as well as disappointments due to canceled activities and end-of-year traditions, from proms to graduation ceremonies. That said, as the school year comes to an end, students (and again, teachers and parents, too!) deserve a break!

Apex Leadership Co. suggests that as students enjoy the summer off, it’s also a good idea for parents and guardians to help them build in some time for education. This can help prevent any learning loss that children gained over the course of the previous year.

For example, many teachers offer review or challenge packets for their students that cover important highlights of the previous year’s material and offer a glimpse into the material for the coming year. These packages can serve as a great resource for students that may have struggled finishing out the year via an online format. If a challenge/review packet isn’t offered, there’s no harm in asking a teacher to prepare one or asking for some resources that parents can use to create their own packet for their children. Additionally, the leaders at Apex Leadership Co have put together a Summer Packet for you to utilize with your children here.

Online courses are fun opportunities for students to keep learning over the summer while also engaging in a topic they truly enjoy. There is a multitude of online options that offers courses broken down into age groups and that covers a wide range of subjects. This not only allows children to stay in the “groove” of learning, but it also allows them to explore topics through other methods of learning outside a traditional classroom — and perhaps become more adept at navigating online learning formats.

Another great way to help students continue education over the summer is to provide real-world opportunities for learning. For example, grocery shopping can allow children to add the total, cooking a family recipe together in the kitchen can stretch several subjects, or when heading out on a road trip, encourage kids to help plan out the route, figure costs for fuel, and schedule important stops for gas, restroom breaks and stretching.

Break out some “old school” tools that are intended to be fun but that also have a great element of learning. Puzzles, board games and even a deck of cards can provide hours of fun and quality time spent as a family, as well as serve as educational resources.

Consider implementing family reading time. A few nights a week, encourage family “quiet time” during which everyone can grab a favorite read, curl up in a comfy spot, and enjoy their own book. For those that need help reading, encourage them to read out aloud. For those just learning to read, having a guardian or parent read to them on a regular basis can be not only an excellent way to help them learn but can also help instill a lifetime love of reading!

To set students up for success in the coming year, enlisting the help of a tutor (virtual or otherwise) can give a much-needed confidence boost to those that struggled through the last part of the school year, and/or that had a hard time adjusting to online learning. The circumstances surrounding the quick transition are nothing short of world-changing and no student should feel they are alone in the struggle to adapt to the situation itself as well as to the sudden transition from in-classroom learning.

Finally, Apex Leadership Co. reminds parents not to force too much learning upon kids over the summer. Just a few minutes each day can help prevent learning loss over the summer or extended break. So let them relax, play and have fun… and just sprinkle in a little no-pressure learning time along the way.