How to make sure your primary school child doesn’t lose valuable skills over the summer

Your child may only be at primary school but the foundation learning and skills they acquire, along with the self-esteem and confidence during these years are the bedrock of their future learning and exam success.

Primary school years are the foundation to future success

Back in 2014, a poll of head teachers by school support service The Key revealed that approximately 75% were concerned about the impact of the summer slide (loss of learning, knowledge and skills over the summer holidays).

Primary school headteachers were particularly concerned about the negative impact the longer summer break can cause and at the time, you may recall former education secretary Michael Gove suggesting that schools cut the summer break to four weeks.

A small amount of holiday learning pays huge dividends

Academic research supports the idea that long holidays can have a negative impact on both high achievers and those that are struggling. That said, on the plus side, National Literacy Trust Director Jonathan Douglas told HuffPost UK that even ten minutes a day spent reading can make a “huge” difference.

10 ways to beat the summer slide

So with that in mind, we’ve put together an at a glance list of things you can do this summer to make sure your child doesn’t suffer from summer learning loss:

  1. Try and read a chapter of a book every day (or at bedtime). Depending on your child’s age and ability, encourage them to read independently as much as you can too.
  2. Visit the library or bookshop frequently to help with number 1 above. Try and make it fun and a treat and encourage them to choose books that interest them rather than going with your choice.
  3. Visit museums as much as you can. Most museums have interactive challenges or just quizzes and games for the kids, which by default encourages learning, reading, writing and more.
  4. Make every trip out a mini lesson. Trips to the shops can be about adding and subtraction when it comes to prices, trips to the parks can be about nature. Encourage your child to draw and record what they’ve seen and found.
  5. Encourage them to cook and bake with you – weighing out ingredients, reading recipe books and baking cakes all helps with basic mathematics, literature and science.
  6. Going on holiday? Encourage your child to research your destination. They could do this online, at the library or using old magazines to create a collage or scrap book about what they learn.
  7. Play games! Eye spy is so easy but can help with spelling and creative thinking, and there’s lots of board games you can try which will also help with their learning.
  8. We’ve mentioned scrap booking already and this is such an adaptable exercise. Get your children to include stories, research, photos, drawings, whatever they want. Make a scrap book of the whole summer and you’re also left with a wonderful memento of the holidays.
  9. Get active. Your child’s motor skills are still developing at this age and it’s important to help teach them lifelong habits. Getting active on a regular basis is a huge part of this and anything from swimming to tennis, ping pong, beach ball, football and many other activities are all part of this.
  10. Make your life super easy and enrol your child on a MagiKats summer programme. Our summer tuition programmes are specifically designed for each child individually and they are lots and lots of fun too. They focus on the key areas of maths and English (or reading and writing) but they also build confidence and help develop other critical skills. 

Be consistent

Summer learning doesn’t have to be a bore or even hard work, but it does need to be consistent if you want to make sure that your child not only doesn’t fall behind, but actually goes on to reach their full potential – both now and in the years ahead.

If you’d like to know more about how easy and affordable it is to enrol in one of our summer tuition courses and how our programmes can help your child, reach their potential, you can find out more here. And with your child’s summer learning taken care of, you can sit back and really enjoy the long summer break.

from the team at MagiKats HQ