We have a guest post today. With Aristotle’s summer break just around the corner, we thought it was a rather timely article. We hope you enjoy it.
Rose Williams is a freelance technology writer with a focus on how the Internet improves our lives, from online education and mobile streaming to ‘stuff’ minimizing and beyond. She holds a B.A. in Technical Communications and is currently working toward an MBA. You can contact Rose directly via email.
The Best Online Resources for Summer Learning
Your child was probably ecstatic about the start of summer vacation. And for good reason: summer is a valuable time for children of any age to relax, have fun, and take a break.
However, research shows that on average, children lose 2 months of math and reading skills over the summer. This lapse leaves them behind when it’s time to return to school in the fall.
But summer brain drain is preventable. Below is a list of online resources that will keep your child learning throughout the summer. These websites, apps, and activities will ensure that your child’s mind stays sharp and ready for the upcoming year.
To get access to all these online resources, the first thing you need is a reliable Internet connection. Fiber optic Internet is ideal for when the kids are home more often and there are multiple devices online. If you’re interested in the super-fast speed that fiber affords, it may be worthwhile to check and see if Verizon FiOS deals are available in your area.
Studies show that summer learning losses are greatest in the area of mathematics. But with these resources, it’s easy – and fun – to incorporate math into your child’s summer vacation.
Motion Math’s Hungry Fish transports your child into an underwater world to practice his or her mathematics skills.
In Hungry Fish, children start out learning basic number values by feeding fish. Players must match fish to food with the same number – if the numbers don’t match, the fish won’t eat. As children feed their fish, the fish grow and develop new fins. And as their skills improve, children can practice addition by swiping numbers together.
Motion Math’s Hungry Fish is free for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. In-app purchases allow your child to explore subtraction and negative numbers.
Math is Fun is a great online resource for children of any age. Simply designed and easy to navigate, MathIsFun.com allows children to practice a variety of math skills.
The home screen displays an illustration with links to different topics, including numbers, money, multiplication, geometry, algebra, and measurement. Clicking on a topic will take your child to a variety of lesson plans and interactive activities at every level – the numbers link includes single-digit numbers, counting to 100, addition and subtraction, and multiplication and division.
The site also offers printable worksheets, online puzzles and games, and a dictionary of math terms. MathIsFun.com provides educational activities for grades 1 through 8.
Staying caught up on reading over the summer will help your child in many different subject areas when he or she returns to school. Check out these online resources for reading, writing, and language.
Read Write Think, from the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English, is an extensive database of reading and writing activities for children of any age.
Along with classroom activities, Read Write Think includes activities for children from kindergarten to grade 12 to do after school. Read Write Think offers phonetic exercises, vocabulary lessons, and podcasts as well as online and offline games, projects, and worksheets.
Read Write Think also includes helpful tips and how-to’s for engaging your child in reading and writing – and helping them have fun while doing it.
Read, from PBS Parents and PBS Kids, is a program specifically designed to enhance your child’s reading, writing, and language skills over the summer.
Read by PBS includes videos that explore reading, vocabulary and language games, and a cartoon studio where children can write and illustrate their own stories. Read by PBS also offers a summer writer’s contest for kindergarten through 3rd grade, and a summer reading challenge where children can log their reading minutes to earn prizes.
Read by PBS also offers resources for teachers and parents, and your child can create an account to sign in and save their favorite games and scores.
This site, from the US Department of Health and Human Services, has great tips for integrating mathematics, reading, and more into your child’s summer routine.
Building Blocks focuses on offline educational activities for the whole family. The site suggests creating a summer reading list, having conversations with children about what they read, and taking family trips to the library. Building Blocks also offers fun ways to engage your child in mathematics, such as counting and measuring while cooking and incorporating math around the house and in the yard.
Building Blocks includes helpful information on childhood education, health, and communication for both parents and educators.