Have you heard of ‘summer learning loss’ or ‘the summer slide’? They’re both terms used to describe the loss of knowledge and academic skills that some kids can experience following a summer holiday.

Studies into this ‘unlearning’ phenomenon began in the 70s, but experts are still somewhat unsure about the causes. Today, many teachers still recognize this issue in many students upon their return to the classroom.

If you’ve established from summers gone by that your own kids struggle with the ‘summer learning loss,’ you may have tried to help them. Maybe you’ve encouraged them to continue academic practices, factor in time for daily reading, play educational games or take a course online.

Now, if your kids are still struggling despite these techniques, you can get them back into the education groove this semester by engaging and encouraging them with the following tips.

Consider Virtual Courses

If your kids or teens seem unmotivated, they could be simply uninspired by the course offerings at their everyday school. If this is the case, encourage them to seek further online learning opportunities — like learning through an accredited virtual high school.

One of the major benefits of e-Learning is that students can explore courses beyond those offered within their geographic location. For example, taking classes through an online school in Canada isn’t just reserved for Canadian students; learners across the globe can take advantage of Canadian curricula, rigor, and subject matter.

Through e-Learning, students can explore new scholastic interests to find out if they’re something they want to pursue further. Doing so may also be an extra string to the bow of their academic transcript.

Don’t Ditch the Extracurriculars

Kids struggle to get back into the routine of everyday brick-and-mortar schooling because it’s perceived as a loss of freedom. Show them the start of a new school semester doesn’t mean that fun needs to be relinquished; instead, find a way to continue a new hobby or interest they discovered during the summer months.

For example, if your child found joy in gardening this summer, see if there’s a community allotment they can work in after school.

Embracing extracurriculars, especially those with an educational element, gives your child the independence to explore a potential passion while showing them that the school year doesn’t mean a loss of freedom or fun.

Heighten Learning Opportunities on Weekends

Why not take educational trips on weeknights or weekends? Try museums or art galleries or consider attending nature walks at your local park. Not only will this be regarded as a fun afternoon or evening out — much like during the days of summer — but it’s also an opportunity for on-the-spot learning.

You might find something that truly sparks your child’s interest — and something that they’re excited to learn more about in biology or art class that coming week.

The Takeaway

The best of us feels a tad unmotivated following a vacation. This semester, help keep your child on track by thinking outside the box. Empowering your kids through creative educational outlets will both inspire and engage them, setting them up for a successful year ahead.