As the temperatures rise and the days get longer, learners (and teachers) eagerly anticipate the summer break. It's a time for relaxation, exploration, and fun-filled activities. However, educators and parents are well aware of the "summer slump" that often accompanies this break. The summer slump refers to the learning loss and academic regression that can occur during the extended vacation. Fortunately, there are several strategies to help learners avoid this setback and ensure a smooth transition into the next academic year. So, let’s explore five effective ways to combat the summer slump.
Giving out Bedrock logins to new learners, at induction days or parents open days, and ensuring that existing learners know their logins and know that they can access Bedrock throughout the summer is a great way to encourage continued learning throughout the summer. Bedrock offers engaging and interactive literacy lessons that cover a wide range of topics, helping learners to improve their reading comprehension, vocabulary and grammar all while having fun. If you'd like to do this but you're not sure how, contact your Customer Success Manager and they will be able to help.
It’s hard for everyone to find motivation when you don’t have an end goal in mind. So, encourage your learners to set individual goals and create a plan to achieve them, whether it's reading a certain number of books, completing a project, or learning a new skill. Break goals into smaller tasks, track progress, and offer incentives for successful completion when they return in September - it could be as simple as a chocolate bar for everyone who met their goal. By setting goals, learners gain a sense of purpose, maintain focus, and develop a growth mindset. Reflecting on accomplishments when they return to school fosters a positive start to the new academic year, reinforcing their achievements and continued growth.
Some of these goals could be finishing the Bedrock Summer Challenge (for secondary, or for primary), or completing a certain number of Bedrock lessons over the summer - it’s easy to check on progress to offer rewards!
Collaborating with feeder schools can play a crucial role in preventing the summer slump. By sharing information about learners’ progress, strengths, and areas for improvement with their future teachers, schools can create a seamless transition between academic years. This collaboration can include sharing recommended reading lists, educational resources, and strategies to maintain learning continuity during the summer break. And if both your school and your feeder school use Bedrock, this can include a seamless transition for both you and your learners, with consistent access for learners throughout the summer so they can continue to improve their literacy skills and build their cultural capital.
Parents play a vital role in supporting their child's learning outside of school. To combat the summer slump effectively, get parents involved by sharing fun literacy ideas and activities they can do with their children. Encourage them to read together, to get creative and write their own stories with their children, or involve grandparents - knitting, cross stitch or chess may not explicitly teach literacy but they’re great for keeping children learning!
Share Bedrock challenges with parents, they can be downloaded and completed at home, providing a series of brilliant activities that can be completed alone or with a parent’s guidance. Our Summer Challenges are particularly great;
You can also share some fun ideas for parents to improve their child’s vocabulary.
Reading is a sure fire way to keep your learners' brains engaged and switched on during the long summer break - it not only helps to maintain and improve literacy skills but also fosters imagination, critical thinking, and a love for learning.
Why not try to provide recommended reading lists (here are our recommendations for some of the best books to improve vocabulary) or create summer reading challenges to engage learners in independent reading (our Bedrock Summer Challenge - Primary or Secondary, includes lots of reading and writing activities for learners).
If you want to take it one step further, then partnering with local libraries or organising book clubs can further enhance opportunities for learners to discover new books and discuss them with peers. Many parents won’t be able to buy brand new books for their children to read over summer, so find the libraries local to your learners and suggest that they visit to see what books they can find.
By combining online resources like Bedrock with collaborative efforts involving parents and feeder schools, students can stay connected to their learning goals and return to school in September with enthusiasm and readiness to take on new challenges. The summer holidays should be a time for relaxation and rejuvenation, so don’t go overboard with setting homework and instructing parents, but with the right approach, it can also be a period of continued learning for students.