Guest Post: 10 Ways to Keep Students Engaged Over the Summer

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May 2, 2013 by k. liz

10 Ways to Keep Students Engaged Over the Summer

Summer is right around the corner and I know I’m already dreading getting students next semester with a serious case of “brain drain.” Students have a summer learning loss every year that averages two to three months of academic progress. Additionally, many low-income students experience a higher amount of learning loss than their higher income peers. Time spent out of school that does not include a regular meal schedule with frequent learning experiences can be detrimental for students. As a teacher, you can recommend that parents and caregivers consider the ten following methods for keeping students engaged over the summer.

  1. Academic enrichment. Summer school classes and tutoring can be great options for students who are looking for a new challenge or who need help in specific academic areas. A current teacher can provide specific recommendations for at home academic enrichment.
  2. Volunteering. Families can volunteer at local nonprofit organizations, assist elderly neighbors, or contribute to programs that help the less fortunate. Children can seek volunteering opportunities in the neighborhood such as pet sitting and mowing lawns.
  3. Local library. Many libraries offer summer reading programs, which can be a great motivation for students to keep reading during the summer, as well as story hours and academic and recreational classes.
  4. Educational TV programs. There are a number of channels that offer educational shows for children, such as Sesame Street and The Electric Company.
  5. Cooking meals. Families should include children in grocery shopping and cooking meals on a regular basis. These routines can include adding the prices of the groceries, discussing healthy eating, measuring ingredients, and practicing safe cooking techniques.
  6. Putting on plays and puppet shows. There is no limit to the number of plays and puppet shows that students can perform. Parents can encourage them to act out their favorite books, TV shows, and movie scenes as well as stories that they have written themselves.
  7. Local field trips. Children get a significant amount of education through any type of travel, which includes a trip to a new location in the area. Virtually any community offers numerous opportunities for local field trips, such as museums. Don’t forget to consider simple field trips such as a walk in a new park or a visit to the local firehouse.
  8. Kid friendly websites. Children will be able to find interesting, engaging websites for just about any academic area or other interest. It is important for parents to peruse websites before their kids visit them in order to ensure that they are viewing appropriate content.
  9. Local summer camps and classes. Parents can consult local schools and community centers for summer camp and class offerings. Many schools have classes and camps available for all children, regardless of the school that they attend. Don’t forget to consider music and art camps and classes. Not only do these experiences provide students academic learning opportunities but they also keep kids who struggle academically engaged and motivated about their learning.
  10. Sleep away camps. There are a number of sleep away camps geared toward specific academic areas, especially niche fields such as science, math, and technology. Many camps have a mix of recreational activities and academic courses to keep kids engaged, motivated, and active.

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Inspired by her work with local non-profit, notMYkid, Blair Crawford decided to give up her life in marketing to go back to school to get her masters educational technology online. Positively influencing her community has become her passion. She currently does this by participating in the Junior League as well as other local non-profits. She can be reached on Twitter at @blair_crawford.

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This is a guest post. Please keep in mind that while I am posting this on my blog, it does not necessarily reflect my positions or beliefs 100%. If you are interested in guest posting on my blog, please contact me at klizbarker(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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