Fun and Free Summer Learning Resources
To help combat summer learning loss, here are a few fun, free education resources for students and parents.
By Matt Davis
June 11, 2014 Updated May 31, 2016
Summer learning loss is a real problem. Alarmingly, research suggests students may lose more than one month of reading knowledge during the summer, and the losses in math may be even greater.
Here, we’ve compiled a few resources to keep students learning through the dog days of summer, with a particular focus on math and reading. For starters, the Edutopia blog post "Avoiding the Summer Slide in Reading and Writing" from Heather Wolpert-Gawron is chock-full of useful information and strategies for parents and students.
Fun! Fun! Fun! Summer Learning Sites
- Themed Books and Activities for Summer Reading and Learning: Start with a Book, a project from Reading Rockets, offers some great ideas for summer reading. This collection offers books and activities to help kids explore a variety of subjects like dinosaurs, money, and much more. Plus, be sure to check out their Summer Science collection for engaging in DIY summer science learning.
- Cool Summer Reading and Learning for Middle School Kids: Author Susan Curtis highlights some of the most useful websites, ideas, and strategies for helping middle school students stay active readers during the summer. Included are links to reading lists, online reading contests, and ideas for practicing reading with tech tools. Also check out Awesome Apps for the Six Traits of Writing, from WeAreTeachers, for improving writing skills with apps during the summer.
- Calculation Nation From the NCTM: If you're looking for a fun, web-based game for students, Calculation Nation from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a wonderful resource. This is just one example; there are tons of awesome games. Also check out Funbrain Math Arcade from Pearson, 10 Best Math Apps for Kids from Parents.com, and Cool Math.
- Summer Learning Resources for Parents From Colorín Colorado: This reading resource roundup for parents is awesome! You'll find guides, tips, and reading lesson ideas in Spanish and English. Another great resource from sister site Reading Rockets is Get Ready for Summer! Ideas for Teachers to Share With Families.
- Summer Fun Activities, Games, and Printables From Education.com: From Education.com, this collection features plenty of activities to keep your kids busy and learning this summer. From hands-on science activities, to outdoor games, there are dozens of ideas here to get started.
- Simple Tips for Summer Math Learning From PBS Parents: These easy-to-implement ideas are perfect for summer learning. My favorites: Turn chores into math learning opportunities, or find math lessons in your child’s collection (sea shells, baseball cards, etc.). PBS Parents’ reading tips guide is also extremely useful.
Quick Links to Open Education Resources
- 9 Online Summer Camps to Keep Kids Busy (and Learning) While School's Out from Common Sense Media
- Summer Reading Tips From Librarians from Scholastic
- Six Elements of Great Summer Learning from the Summer Learning Association
- 10 Ways to Build Math Skills This Summer from GreatSchools
- Get Ready for Summer Reading from the National Education Association
- Summer Travel: Education on the Road from EDSITEment!
- Fun-in-the-Sun Activities from Scholastic