Sponsor spotlight: Summer learning hacks for students

Holy Rosary School students, staff and parents celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer at the school’s “Aloha to Summer” party during the final week of classes.

School’s out for summer! All of us — teachers, students, and parents — heave a big sigh of relief at the closing bell on the last day of another busy school year. Summer break brings a much-needed opportunity for students and their families to recharge and reconnect. But that doesn’t have to mean a two-month learning gap for students. As principalat Holy Rosary and an educator for more than 20 years, I’ve collected some great “life hacks” to help keep my kids active and learning throughout the summer. Like sneaking vegetables into a casserole, there are some easy ways for parents to sneak some great learning opportunities into their kids’ summer break. Here are some of my favorite “Summertime Learning Hacks” that I hope you and your family might find helpful this summer:

Read for fun! For a good part of the school year, students are told what to read and when. Summer is a time when they should read what they want. Help children find a genre of books they love or a series they can’t get enough of. Better yet, read a family book together and set an example of how reading doesn’t always have to be a task. If you are out and about, try an audio book.

Seek adventure. With better weather there is a great opportunity for exploratory learning. Find a new park, make a scavenger hunt together, and take time to be curious about nature and our surroundings whether during travel or in our local Edmonds community.

Take a break but stay engaged. Summer is a time for students to recharge their batteries for the school year and hopefully enjoy a more relaxed routine. Teachers often speak of the “summer slide” when there is a loss of learning over the summer. We believe that any student can learn at any rate with the right motivation and support, but it does help if students keep their brains active. This can be achieved through reading and practicing concepts they have already learned. Unless they are in a summer school program or working with a tutor, students should not be expected to push through new material. They can, however, play engaging math games with friends, review math facts in a fun way, or play teacher and teach their parents or friends a concept.

Use screens to your advantage. There is much talk about limiting screen time and the parent guilt of too much screen time. I encourage students to earn screen time after a busy day as a way to relax. Screens are great for family movie time. Putting boundaries on when, where, and what is viewed on a screen can help children understand limits, too. Encourage them to use screens for academic-focused games or to stay in touch socially with school friends if traveling.

Play with your kids. Pope Francis reminded us that, “The free gift of a parent’s time is so important.” We only get so many summers with our children. Use this opportunity to turn your kitchen into a laboratory when making dinner, invite them to help in the garden, transform your living room on a rainy day, create a challenge course and have a race or ask your teenager how to play the latest video game. Our children are a gift, and engaging with children is the most valuable time for them and their parents!

Above all, have fun and soak up some wonderful memories with you and your kids this summer. We look forward to seeing you rested and ready to learn come September.

Happy Summer, everyone!

By Principal Larkin Temme, Holy Rosary Edmonds School

Holy Rosary Catholic School has been inspiring lifelong learners since 1964. We’d love to meet and show you around our beautiful campus in downtown Edmonds! Please contact us at Holy Rosary School tours  to schedule a visit or take a virtual tour here.

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