For many students, the school closures due to COVID-19 have meant an end to getting their schoolwork and assignments graded, lowered responsibility, and plenty of time for videogames and television.
Unfortunately, this means it can also be a time when many students lose much of the academic skills and knowledge they’ve gained throughout the school year before the pandemic changed life as we know it. The fact is, learning loss due to coronavirus school closures, dubbed the ‘COVID Slump’ by experts, is becoming a common phenomenon for many students across the nation– and one that’s actually preventable if the right measures are taken.
So how can parents prevent their children from backsliding and avoid this learning slump during school closures?
Here are 5 tips to help prevent COVID-19 learning loss.
1. CREATE HAND-BUILT PROJECTS.
With all the screen time kids are getting from online learning (not to mention their non-educational screen time), sometimes the best thing you can do to get kids flexing their brain muscles is to have them physically design and create something with their own two hands like a 3D puzzle, creative board game, pop-up storybook, or time capsule, to name a few examples.
2. TAKE UP AN EDUCATIONAL HOBBY.
Now is the perfect opportunity for students to take up a new hobby. Learning a musical instrument, taking a coding class, or joining an online trivia league can help students of any age stay sharp through the pandemic days.
3. MOVE THE LEARNING OUTDOORS.
It may seem basic, but a little sunshine and fresh air are excellent for everyone’s mental health and can help bored students reinvigorate their learning by helping them escape the monotony of their home learning space. An at-home summer camp could work. Physical activity can also help memory recall and increases mental dexterity. Try passing around a soccer ball in the backyard while learning the state capitals, or playing hopscotch while reciting new vocab terms.
4. ENROLL THEM IN AN ONLINE EDUCATIONAL COURSE.
Think of it as a virtual summer camp. But before you blindly sign up for some online program, look for some specialized programs designed to keep children learning with engaging activities and personalized instruction, and take advantage of these slower months boost problem areas.
5. ENCOURAGE THEM TO KEEP THEIR CURIOSITY PIQUED.
Even inquisitive children can use some coaxing to keep learning over the summer. There are many services, like Brainly, where children can ask questions, learn new things, and keep stimulated to prevent the COVID slump.
Bonus Tip: TAKE UP AN EDUCATIONAL HOBBY
Why not try growing a garden in your backyard? Starting a garden and taking of plants can be a great learning experience. You and your kids can grow fruits and vegetables and enjoy the fruits of your hard work later. If you don’t have space, then start an indoor garden instead. Lemons and limes, avocados, apricots, and herbs can grow indoors.
Although they’re not plants, mushrooms can also grow in your indoor garden. You can use a ready-made grow kit to cultivate mushrooms quickly and easily. Letting your kids grow their own food can be an incredibly educational and rewarding experience for them. They get to learn about different kinds of plants, how to take care of them and reap delicious rewards later.
Regardless of what you choose, staying mentally active during school closures (and throughout summer) can give your child a leg up come September.