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Keeping children actively learning over the summer break

Melissa Woodforlk
Melissa Woodforlk
Melissa Woodforlk

As the school year comes to an end, it is important to keep children actively learning over the summer break. One of the things that I hear from students after summer break has ended and the new school year has begun, is that they forgot. As a teacher, it is my experience that most students who do not actively read and write over the summer break tend to forget some things they have learned the previous school, before the summer break, because they are not using it. Keeping children actively learning when school is out is important to them not forgetting what they have learned. Learning does not stop just because school is out. It is continuous because children are making real connections with what they have learned outside of school.

Over the summer break, children can read books of their choice and keep a journal highlighting the setting, time, place, and the plot. They can write down critical thinking questions about the story elements and answer them. This reinforces their reading comprehension. In addition, they can write their own stories, true or made up, utilizing the writing process steps to further strengthen their comprehension skills. Children can also practice their penmanship by copying paragraphs out of books, magazines, and newspapers, including citing the source they are copying from to give credit and to not plagiarize. This allows them to improve the spacing between words and paragraphs; letter size; grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation; and to properly cite sources.

As a teacher in the field of education, by encouraging children to read and to write over the summer break sets them up for another successful year of learning. It relieves the pressure and the anxiety that comes along with starting a new school year and not having to worry about what they forget, but rather to focus on what they know and what they have yet to learn. Active learning over the summer break allows children to explore and to expand on their past learning and to make new connections to future learning.