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Use it before they lose it

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Use it before they lose it

Summer Learning Loss (SLL) is a real concern, causing students to forget or lose important skills and knowledge they don’t use over the summer. There are many ways parents can support informal learning over the summer to help our kids “use it before they lose it.” Here are just a few:

• Bring history alive by visiting one of Ontario’s many living museums such as Westfield Heritage Village, Black Creek Pioneer Village, or Upper Canada Village. A great opportunity to experience life in the 18th and 19th centuries.

• Have a day of hands-on fun and exploration at the Toronto Science Centre, Canada South Science City (Windsor), or Science North (Sudbury).

• Design simple experiments using household items. These are easy to find by searching online or in your local library.

• Practise measuring and fractions by getting your kids in the kitchen to help cook or bake. Learning never tasted so good!

• Make maps of your house, neighbourhood, or the setting of a story you are reading together. Gather and study maps of areas you plan to visit.

• Looking for fun ways to practice counting? Consider a rousing game of Trouble, Blackjack, Snakes & Ladders, or Cribbage.

• Are their money skills a little weak or rusty? Have a game of Monopoly or Payday, and let the kids make purchases and count change when visiting local markets or stores.

• Explore new worlds through books. Your local bookstore or librarian would be happy to suggest some popular or age appropriate titles.

• Check out used book stores, flea markets, and garage sales for cheap sources of books, magazine, and comics. Find a topic of interest and latch on to it.

• Join a summer reading program at your local library. Most offer prizes and incentives for kids of all ages.

• Buy fancy blank or lined books at a “Dollar Store” and get your kids to chronicle family trips, vacations, or other parts of their summer.

• Get the family involved in recording your family history, or favourite recipes.

• Break out the board games. Games like Scrabble or Boggle not only help to strengthen vocabulary and spelling, but also provide perfect opportunities to practice other important skills such as good sportsmanship, honesty, empathy, and respect.

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