The coronavirus pandemic has forced many summer programs across the country to cancel or transfer their practical programs to a virtual platform. After a spring of online learning and canceled summer enrichment activities, parents and educators are worried about their students’ academic losses.
“This is the most unusual and atypical summer we’ve seen,” said Matthew Boulay, founder of the National Summer Learning Association and author of How to Keep Your Kids Learning When Schools Are Closed: Tips, Tools and Activities to Help Parents Discover the The Power of Summer Learning in the Age of Covid-19. “We’ve been talking for a long time that summer is the most uneven time in America… so all of that inequality is exacerbated this summer.”
For parents whose kids don’t have a summer program this year, Boulay says one of the most important things is to create structure and routine. What is also important is to create a summer learning routine that is as child-centered and child-led as possible.
“We always say that summer learning is not a summer school,” he said. “You don’t need to teach your child trigonometry and advanced chemistry. You want to promote their interests, support their learning, make sure they have access to material … Find ways to capture and spark your child’s imagination and encourage them to move from topic to topic. other, from one idea to another, which is aligned with their interests.
From cooking and crafts, to watching documentaries and yoga in the living room, Boulay says there are many options parents can use for their children.
Jodi Musoff, Education Specialist at the Child Mind Institute in New York, said parents should also be aware of the socio-emotional well-being of their children this summer.
“I think families need to do their best to find the balance in the school education that their children need… but really keeping a close eye on how their children are doing socially and emotionally at this point,” said she declared. “We can’t really expect children to benefit from school interventions if they’re not feeling well emotionally. “
To help reconnect kids with friends and peers, Musoff recommends creating a penpal system or a virtual book club, but stresses that each family’s needs will be different.
“The schools are all about collaboration and collaborative learning,” said Musoff. “And I hope they will come back to a collaborative environment. And I think they need to keep practicing these skills.
In addition to looking after your child, Boulay says it’s important for parents to remember to take time for them, especially as the summer progresses and schools start to reopen or move back to school. virtual learning.
“Find some time at the start or end of each day and check in and make sure during those crazy times that you’re okay. Parents need to stay healthy so that we can keep our children healthy.
Summer programs struggle to keep learning while having fun at a distance
Photos: How the camps are tackling this summer’s uncertainty