As the summer months approach, many caregivers – whether their child attends traditional school or is homeschooled – worry about gaps in learning. This topic is never more present in conversation than in the context of summer learning loss or the summer slide. Simply put, learning loss can occur during the summer months when students are less engaged academically, thus “losing” what they’ve learned the year prior.

This lack of engagement finds parents scrambling for resources to help the kids in their lives retain more of what they’ve learned and ensure they’re better poised for a successful start to the new school year. Here are a few ideas to help keep your child’s mind active throughout the summer months – like learning online with Time4Learning – paired with interactive summer activities and fun projects.

Combat Summer Slide with Easy Daily Review

Summer learning loss is real and the summer months provide a unique opportunity to fill any learning gaps or review concepts your learner may need additional exposure to.

CourseBridge from Time4Learning is an online program providing middle and high schoolers with extra daily touch points in math or language arts to help them either catch up, get ahead for the upcoming year, or keep their minds active and engaged.

This convenient and customizable daily program includes grading and progress monitoring, so you won’t need to worry about an extra item on your to-do list. CourseBridge allows caregivers to set flexible summer learning goals on their own terms.

The condensed format enhances students’ retention of the material and fosters a sense of confidence while setting them up for success. With CourseBridge, learners can redo activities and receive real-time feedback and grades, allowing them to progress to the next lesson at their convenience. By working just 30-45 minutes per day your student could complete a course in three months, leaving plenty of time for fun in the sun.

Dive Into Personal Interests with Electives

The summer months are also a great time to help your child explore their current interests, or even develop new ones. Kids are forever changing, growing, and evolving; what was once a must-do activity or interest last year has likely since fallen by the wayside.

Time4Learning electives can expand on a child’s growing interests or inspire new ones. Taking elective courses provides an opportunity for self-improvement, instilling confidence and fostering independence in the middle grades and beyond.

For example, middle schoolers with an interest in STEM can take the Time4Learning MS Computer Science elective paired with a series of independent projects to showcase what they’ve learned. Or, if you decided to join a gym as a family, the Lifetime Fitness course can help your learner understand the effect nutrition has on exercise and overall well-being.

At the high school level, Time4Learning electives are a great way to help your student get a headstart on the upcoming year. They also allow your student to make up for missed learning time the year prior.

Offerings like Economics and Personal Finance can give them a leg-up as they work toward high school credits. And the Intro to Communications and Speech elective can be paired with a Toastmasters Youth Leadership meeting to create an all-encompassing and hands-on learning experience.

Take Family Learning On the Go

Of course, summer is all about time together as a family and getting out there to explore the world around you. Aquariums, zoos, and museums are always a great idea. On International Museum Day (May 18, 2024), museums across the nation often provide free admission and special events and activities for the general public.

Some families opt to visit state and National Parks together. The National Park Service is committed to helping families experience the grandeur of nature with their Every Kid Outdoors program.

Every Kid Outdoors provides 4th-grade students and their families free entry into the National Parks. If you have a child in the 9-11 age range in your family, this program is a great opportunity to tie in fourth and fifth-grade social studies. Our family was treated to free entry at Tuzigoot National Monument, Montezuma Castle, and the Grand Canyon National Park on our family trip to Arizona in 2021, thanks to our Junior Ranger 4th grader.

You can even enhance the learning by bringing CourseBridge along for the ride. It can be used to further fill those learning gaps or expand upon what they’ve discovered “in the field.” Pairing roadschooling with digital learning, the hands-on and the tangible may be just what your learner needs to make the lesson “click.”

Use an Online Summer School Curriculum

Late last summer our family took a family vacation to Boston, and we were able to incorporate history, science, STEM and so much more, to the tune of 10 homeschool days.

Visits to Revolutionary War sites, the Boston Museum of Science, and a walking tour of the Salem Witch Trial sites all provided countless opportunities for rabbit holes of learning when we returned home. If you’re taking a similar type of trip, simply pair the visit with online offerings like Time4Learning elementary social studies courses or Civics and Government for older learners.

With Time4Learning’s online curriculum, the possibilities are endless; you can truly tailor the learning to your family’s experiences. With a curriculum covering language arts, math, science, and social studies, you’re bound to find just the right fit.

Keep the Momentum Going After Summer!

It’s evident that there are countless ways to reduce the potential of summer learning loss, but if you are still concerned and looking for additional ways to ensure your learner doesn’t miss a beat, consider adopting a year-round homeschool schedule. Starting homeschooling in the summer is a great opportunity to reflect on the previous year and tweak your homeschool schedule. Many families continue their homeschooling year-round by working through the summer and then taking scheduled breaks throughout the school year.

Some even take the majority of December off to celebrate the winter holidays with family and friends. The flexibility of homeschooling allows for opportunities to tweak the schedule, alleviate the barriers that could cause summer learning loss, and incorporate tools like Time4Learning online courses to ensure kids stay academically engaged all year.