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How to help kids retain what they learned in your classroom this year. You’ve taught, tested, and graded all year long. Soon the bell will ring for the last time this school year.But before you lock up your classroom for the summer, consider how you will help your students retain what they learned

May 22, 2017

How to help kids retain what they learned in your classroom this year.


You’ve taught, tested, and graded all year long. Soon the bell will ring for the last time this school year.

But before you lock up your classroom for the summer, consider how you will help your students retain what they learned over summer break.

Teachers Spend Three Weeks or More Reteaching Last Year’s Lessons

Summer learning loss is real. Many teachers spend the first three or four weeks of the school reminding students what they learned the previous year. The problem is so common that a non-profit group, National Summer Learning Association, is devoted entirely to combating the problem.

Summer learning loss is most challenging for students whose families can’t afford to send them to pricey camps and summer programs. Some kids spend June and July in front of the television or babysitting younger siblings.

No matter what socioeconomic group you teach, most parents welcome suggestions for activities to keep young minds at work over break. Here are some ideas:

Summer Activities for Kids of All Ages

It can be challenging for parents of high school students to keep their kids’ minds active over the summer, especially if the teens are too young to work or drive to volunteer activities. Part of being a teenager is learning to socialize, so be sure parents know that it is fine to allow students to spend time during the summer just hanging out with friends.

But also suggest that parents read and discuss a few books with their teens. Some popular “family book club” titles are Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Steven Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The Diary of Anne Frank.

Parents of middle school students often turn to teachers when trying to figure out how to deal with their kids’ changing brains and bodies. Summer is no exception.

Middle schoolers love to try out new interests. Suggest that parents encourage their tweens to do something completely new — a cooking class, a new sport, or even something like music or second language lessons.

Also, many public libraries have teen rooms that are perfect for middle school students. Drop a tween off for an afternoon and see what new books, videos, and music they come home with.

K-6 kids might be the easiest for parents to help along over the summer because many leave home for educational programs during the day. For those who are home with family or a sitter, recommend that parents do weekly library visits and go online to fun, educational websites.

Here are some teacher-approved favorites:

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