Although most parents make a point to encourage education and learning all year long, it can easily fall through the cracks when distractions and family events get in the way. If you’re panicking about learning loss, don’t fret. There are many ways you can keep your child engaged, regardless of what time of year it is.

Here are some tips, tricks and helpful resources to make this seemingly impossible mission a little simpler. If the specifics suggested below aren’t a prefect fit, hopefully these will prompt some ideas that are just right for your student.

Reformulating Your Plan

Knowing exactly what your child needs can help you design activities and lessons that keep them learning all year. If you spoke to your child’s teacher at some point, you already know the areas where your child needs improvement. Take the time to reassess those areas and look for ways to fill any gaps.

For instance, if your child struggles with sitting still and reading, a trip to the library with a scavenger hunt along the way may be just the ticket to engage them in a new way.

If you set up a plan to spend a specific amount of time each week on their studies and post that in a common area of the house, Healthline’s article “Summer Learning Loss is Real” notes that both you and your child will be mentally prepared to know what needs to be done and will be more likely to complete the tasks. Some kids just need to see the whole plan.

Thinking Outside of the Box

Incorporating education doesn’t need to be all about workbooks and quiet time. Meet your child’s needs in other fun and creative ways.

  • Check out educational programming that not only teaches your child but entertains them as well. Streaming sticks like Amazon’s Fire TV Stick or Roku Express, for example, are portable so even on vacation, your child could access TV shows from PBS Kids and Noggin. You just need a WiFi connection. Or download those shows in advance to your tablet.
  • If your child struggles with topics like science, but is creative and thrives in literacy, have them create a play, story, project or poem around a scientific topic that will keep them entertained and help them frame science in a way they find interesting.
  • For children who struggle with reading out loud, get copies of audiobooks free from the library or online that they can read along with.
  • For the hands-on child who struggles with math, make their math equations come alive through real-life examples and visualizations (think math cubes, number lines, flashcards).
  • For the child who struggles with fractions, engage them with cooking. They’ll be able to see and touch and experience how different a half a cup of flour is from a full cup.

Creating a hobby/craft room for your child is a great way to let them freely explore their interests in a space that reflects their personality. You can either repurpose the room as-is or redesign it completely; the choice is yours! Just remember that if you decide to make significant changes to the house like converting a bedroom to a shared space, Redfin, a real estate website, advises you to keep records of these changes in case you need to get an appraisal for your home.

Preparing for Schoolwork

A lot of learning is geared toward preventing your child from losing the information they gained during their time in school, but some of it needs to also be geared toward priming them for what is about to come. You don’t need them to already know every lesson before the bell rings, but you can help them expand their knowledge. Give your kids more complicated math problems, encourage them to read a book that is one level above their current reading level, and help them study history through maps, books, and movies.

With some planning, you can set your child up for success by revisiting what they have learned, and preparing them for the future. Unlike the traditional school setting, which has one lesson plan for all, you have the unique opportunity to create lessons for your child that meets them right where they are. Design activities around how they enjoy learning, use resources like the library, and get creative with subtle learning (apps or educational TV shows). By doing so, they will not only be prepared, but confident to tackle anything that comes their way.

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