As the school year winds to a close, your school might be wondering about (and perhaps apprehensive about) keeping parents and guardians engaged with their child’s education and with your school community over the summer months.
If your school has an online portal, website, or social media pages, you can use those channels to send out information for parents and guardians during the summer break.
We’ve collected a list of suggestions for your school to use for your parents and guardians, to try to keep them and their children engaged in education and with your school over the summer break.
Recommend Active Learning Experiences:
With weather being great in the summer months, it’s the perfect time to suggest parents and guardians look into active learning opportunities for their children in their local community. Use your online portal or school website to include a list of ideas. Some ideas to recommend can include swimming classes, sports teams, museums (particularly those with “discover zones” or other hands-on learning), as well as hiking or walking tours.
Encourage parents to incorporate writing and reading in daily activities
Have students start a summer journal to record their adventures and activities over the break. Suggest that parents and children work together to create a scrapbook-style journal that can be shared with the student’s new class and teacher. Not only does this ease the transition of the student into their new class, it also helps students to practice and refine their writing and recording skills.
Additionally, you can suggest that parents look into their local library, and that they make use of classes and equipment that parents and children can use to learn or practice new skills.
Share a list of tutorials for new skills
Share a series of online tutorials on learning new skills via your school website, social media pages, or online portal. These tutorials could be things that parents and children can do together, such as cooking, or crafting, or learning a new language, or playing musical instruments. Emphasis can be placed on life skills such as learning to budget or how to make staple recipes. This can both encourage students and parents to work together, and can help everyone involved to learn something new!
Use your school’s social media or online portal
Make use of your school’s Twitter, Facebook, website, or online portal to help keep parents engaged. Some different ideas for using social media to keep parents and children engaged and learning over the summer holiday include:
- having parents and children share photographs of the adventures they’ve had, or projects they’ve completed
- host a virtual “watch party” of educational content
- host summer social events via social media, where parents can post about a topic for a set period of time, and can interact with each other on your school’s pages.
Start a parent’s book club
Using your school’s social media, host a virtual book club for parents over the summer.
For parents of primary-aged children, suggest books that can perhaps teach them something about early literacy with their children, and something that parents and children can read together.
For parents of secondary school children, suggest something that their children may be reading in the upcoming year, so that the parents can get involved with their child’s education in a more detailed way. This can also give parents a more detailed view of their children’s education, and help them better understand what their children have to learn.
Create a scavenger hunt or geocaching adventure in your school’s local area or online
For schools whose students are local, something to consider is setting up a scavenger hunt in the local community or on the school grounds for parents and children to complete over the summer. For secondary-aged students, this could even be a geocaching adventure.
If your school’s student-base is more global or widespread when not in term-time, perhaps set up a more generic scavenger hunt, with items that can be found in multiple locations.
Encourage environmental and social awareness
Encouraging environmental awareness is something that you can suggest to parents. Parents and primary-aged children could take before and after photos of a local park or green area, after picking up litter and rubbish from the area. Parents can then either post these on your school’s social media page, or can help children to add them to their “summer journal” as mentioned above.
For older students, they can of course be encouraged to pick up litter as well, but they can also be guided towards larger social issues such as homelessness, animal cruelty, or other issues affecting their local area. Students (and their parents) can be encouraged to come up with solutions or hold fundraisers for these issues. These solutions or fundraising efforts can be shared on your school’s social media, can be added to the “summer journal” or can be presented in a method of your choice.
As an incentive for these efforts, your school could perhaps entice your students with a raffle ticket for a prize if they complete these tasks.