Teaching Tip Tuesday – Summer Homework

You probably read the title for this post and said, “What? Summer homework! What kind of a teacher assigns homework over the summer?”

But the truth is, children need educational experiences over the summer. There have been countless studies done on this and there is plenty of data to suggest that after having two months off, many children slip back. They lose the good study habits and much of the information they worked hard at to accomplish all year.

I know from past experience that I often have to play catch up with the students in September. I need to spend a few weeks on review before the students are truly ready to learn the new curriculum for the year.

So I think teachers should encourage their students to keep their brains and bodies active during the summer holidays.

Last year, I gave my students my home address and told them that I would like to receive letters from each and every one of them. I promised that I would write a response to each letter I got and that I would include a surprise in the envelope as well.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like getting letters in the mail. Children don’t often get mail so it can be a very exciting thing for them. The best thing about this entire homework assignment is that the students don’t even think it is work, They like reading and writing letters.

Of course, I only got three letters last year but it was a start. I was really excited to see the first letter in my mailbox. I wrote a personal letter back and included a photograph of the student that I had taken over the past school year. I also put some stickers in the envelope. It didn’t take much time or effort to do this and I know that my past students really appreciated it.

I am going to challenge my class this week to see if they can beat my past class. Hopefully I can do this every year until I get 100% participation. There’s some extra motivation for them and for me.

Of course, I also encourage my students to continue their learning in other ways. I will be sending home a newsletter this week with some ideas for the parents in it. I will post up a copy of that letter for next week’s teaching tip. See you then!

If you like this series and have some ideas or tips you would like to share, I would love to have you write a guest post. Please email me with your ideas, thoughts, comments, or suggestions. Or you can just leave a comment here on this post. I would love to hear from you.