School’s out for summer, and while it’s certainly a time for fun and sun, the downtime can also cause what’s commonly referred to as the “Summer Slide.” Researchers have found that students’ achievement scores decline over summer vacation. Their economic background, or access to learning resources during the summer months, was also found to play a frequent role in just how much they regress.
Summer can also be a stressful time for parents with their kids out of school. To help make your life a little easier – and still allow you to achieve your #MomGoals or #DadGoals with your kids this summer – you can sneak in just 15 minutes of learning a day throughout summer break to make a real difference and keep your child’s mind sharp.
To make real-world summer learning as easy and impactful as we can, we partnered with our community of Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts to put together 25 quick tips and lesson activities parents can do with their kids over the course of five summer weeks.
For these daily learning tips, follow our Education Blog and Pinterest channel daily, beginning June 25th. Get a sneak peek at all 25 tips below. And teachers: You can even print them all out for your students before the end of the year, right from the Sway here:
Need a nice, cool place to take your kids for hands-on learning?
Join us at Microsoft Store locations for free STEM workshops all summer. Plus: You can learn more about Summer Camps for your kids during free Summer Camp sessions at Microsoft Stores.
- Create a Difference in Your World: Use tech for good and develop an action plan for a philanthropic effort of your choice.
- Make Your Own Movie With 3D And Mixed Reality: Learn how to make your own movie with Microsoft’s 3D and movie-making technology.
- Beginners Fun with Computers and Coding: Learn how computers and code work and then showcase your skills for your parents at the end of the camp.
- Minecraft Coding: Learn computer science with your favorite game!
- Code a talking robot with Ohbot: Code movements and speech to bring the Ohbot robot to life!
To join, register for summer camps today online or in person at your local Microsoft Store.
Plus, we’ve pulled together a list of free or low-cost online resources parents can use this summer to help their kids pursue new passions, catch up in subjects where they might have struggled in the past, and head into the new school year with confidence and curiosity.
1. Learning Tools for struggling readers
- Microsoft Learning Tools is a free resource that integrates with Microsoft Office and can help kids improve decoding, fluency and comprehension. Originally designed for kids with dyslexia, the tool is now used in the classroom and at home by parents of emerging readers that can use some extra help focusing on the words on the page.
2. Apps and tools to master math
- Early learners can learn number recognition, sequences, quantity, numerical patterns and simple addition with adorable Endless monsters in Endless Numbers.
- The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has partnered with organization to create Illuminations with 100 activities and online math strategy games where players can compete with a computer or other students from around the globe.
- Slice Fractions ($3.99) is a fun and interactive game that has players slice through ice and lava to clear the mammoth’s path when learning about fractions; perfect for kids between the ages of 5-12.
3. Free Minecraft apps to learn to code
- Millions of people around the world love creating new worlds in Minecraft, but many parents aren’t aware that they can use Minecraft to teach their kids the basics of computer coding. For a fun and free way to try coding for the first time, check out the three Minecraft Hour of Code tutorials on Code.org.
4. Spark a love of science
Summer is a great time to learn about science in the great outdoors. Here are two apps that help kids understand their universe:
- Star Walk 2 ($2.99) lets your child spot over 200,000 stars, planets, constellations and satellites in the summer’s clear night sky.
- Earth 3D ($2.99) is an interactive 3D globe featuring wonders of the world, weathers maps and more allowing kids to discover facts about our planets.
5. Safe online news at MSN Kids
This week, we unveiled MSN Kids, a curated news site created specifically for children in the elementary and middle school age group. We saw a need for a place for kids to learn about the world in a safe, trustworthy and fun environment. The site offers editorially curated, age appropriate news and features from partner publishers such as Popular Science, Sports Illustrated for Kids, National Geographic and USA TODAY.
The content helps children find things of interest to stay engaged, learn, and have fun – with no sponsored content or advertising. Kids can learn about animals, the world around them, kids like them doing interesting things around the globe, and more. When using Microsoft Edge, kids can also use pen and read aloud to engage with puzzles or assist with reading articles.
To learn more about Microsoft Education and our tools and technology that help foster inclusion and support personalizing learning for every student, click here.