Tips to Keep Kids Learning Through Summer + Giveaway!

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10 tips to keep kids learning through summer

The summer slide.  Not to be confused with the playground slide.

All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer (White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004). 

Quoted from

Summer can be a trying time for parents of school age kids.  I need to get things done, and I need the occasional peace and quiet in the house.  As long as the kids aren’t bugging me every 5 minutes, and as long as they aren’t going to burn down the house they are welcome to do what they want.

Does that feel familiar?  In the digital age we live in kids gravitate (much like their adult counterparts) to the screen.  Television, iPad, tablet, iPod, smartphones, video games, I could probably keep going for another few minutes, but you’re already familiar with all these devices so I’ll spare you. It can be a challenge to keep kids learning through summer!  Check out the tips below to help your kids avoid that summer slide.

Tips to Keep Kids Learning Through Summer

1)  Establish a summer schedule (or “routine” if your kids rebel against the word “schedule”).  Whether you are a stay at home parent or not, a schedule will give your kids an idea of what is expected of them during the summer.  They will know that lazing about watching TV or playing video games all day simply isn’t an option.  My boys schedule includes 4 hours of outside play (2 in the morning and 2 in the evening), 2 hours of TV/media time during the afternoon, chore time, and an hour and a half of learning time.

2)  Did you catch that last schedule component?  Incorporate a specific time during the day dedicated to learning activities.

3)  Encourage your kids to be creative! For older kids this might mean doing fun science experiments, building projects, academically challenging computer games.  Younger kids can experiment with art styles, projects, and mediums, do science experiments, build, and much more!

4)  Enroll in your local library’s summer reading program.  These are usually very fun and often offer prizes or a party at the end of the program.  Call your local library to find out more about their program.

5)  Do your own read-a-thon at home.  Set a “total books to read” goal with your child, and then do fun things together as a reward when they hit certain benchmarks.

6)  Register or subscribe to fun, academic websites like (free), Reading Eggs (paid subscription), Starfall (free and paid),, and many more!

7)  Don’t be afraid to let your kids watch some television and play video games.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than a total of 2 hours of media time for kids per day.  As a parent it is at your discretion how you let your child use that time.  Be confident in knowing that good television programs can enhance learning: introduce your child to new concepts, places, and situations, and build vocabulary.  Age appropriate video games can encourage hand eye coordination, quicken response times, and teach focus and concentration.

8)  Get your kids outside!  Even if you have to kick them out of the house, get those kids outside playing!  LOL!  Exercise does a myriad of wonderful things for our bodies including sharpening our ability to concentrate (and thus learn).  It will also wear your kids out and help them sleep better at night (and what parent doesn’t want that, right).  Because it can get pretty darn hot and humid here in Louisiana during summer days I send my kids outside to play for a couple hours in the morning and then a couple hours later in the evening.

9)  Play and learn with your kids.  There is a well-known child development theory called “Scaffolding” or “Zone of Proximal Development”.  The theory goes that when a parent, teacher, or more advanced peer gives appropriate assistance to a child in order for that child to complete a task that is within their Zone of Proximal Development that assistance will give the student enough of a “boost” to achieve the task. <—That is the Scaffolding part.   Once the student, with the benefit of scaffolding, masters the task, the scaffolding can then be removed and the student will then be able to complete the task again on his own.

10)  Enlist the help of well-made, educational videos.  I have quite the collection of educational videos for my boys.  And I LOVE IT!  Some of my favorite educational videos are the Rock N’ Learn videos.


rock n learn

Rock N’ Learn Review

We bought our first Rock N’ Learn video (Phonics Volume 1) 2 years ago after I’d read about them on some blogs.  I really wasn’t sure what my kids would think of it (the animation isn’t the quality you’d see on television), but from their first time watching it they were hooked.  Even my then-2-year-old loved it and would recite some of the phonics rules he had learned from the video.

When Rock N’ Learn contacted me about reviewing their videos, it was a no-brainer.  Rock N’ Learn Sent me Sight Words Level 1 and their new Learn a Language DVD (I’ll be covering this one in a separate review).

Rock N Learn Educational Phonics Videos

Rock N’ Learn has an extensive selection of educational DVD’s, CD’s, and Apps designed for kids preschool through 5th grade.  The videos incorporate a lot of music (a HUGE plus in my book!) and are fairly engaging for kids.

Rock ‘N Learn programs help students learn math, phonics, reading, early childhood, social studies, Spanish, test-taking strategies, writing, and science. Our DVDs incorporate music with exciting, colorful imagery.

I mentioned above how Rock N’ Learn incorporates a lot of music into their videos (hence the name Rock N’ Learn).  I find that the music is key, not only to keeping a child’s attention, but also as a teaching/memory strategy.  The songs are simple–easy enough for my children to pick up, remember, and sing throughout the day.

Here is a short clip from the Sight Words Level 1 DVD

We do a lot of short road trips to visit family so I keep their Rock N’ Learn DVDs in the car.  As soon as we are in the car I hear, “Mom, can we watch Phonics?!” or “Mom, can we watch Sight Words?!”

Now, usually at the end of a review I have some constructive feedback about the product I reviewed.  Not with our Rock N’ Learn Sight Words.  It is a rare occasion when I have no feedback, no dislikes about a product.  We love Rock N’ Learn!

 Some exciting News!

Rock N’ Learn has given me a 25% off your total purchase coupon code to share with you!  That is a BIG savings!  Rock N’ Learn DVDs retail for $20 each.  Use your coupon code to bring that total down to just $15.  Or purchase a 3 DVD bundle for $52, apply the code and your total comes down to just $39!  Use Rock N’ Learn coupon code KR8822 at checkout.

The fun doesn’t end there!  We’ve got a giveaway!

One lucky reader will win a Rock N’ Learn DVD of their choice!

Open to US residents ages 18+

Enter in the entry widget below.


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. Phonics 2 dvd
  3. I think maybe color, shapes and counting or getting ready for kindergarten for my 3 year old grandson.
  4. I'd probably choose Phonics Volume 1 DVD for my grandsons.
  5. Rock 'N Learn States & Capitals Audio CD & Book.
  6. Dorothy Boucher says
  7. Leigh Anne Borders says
    I would go for something in the 5-6 range like the sight words DVDs.
  8. Cathy Burnett says
    I would choose Alphabet Exercise.
  9. I love learn a language. Thank you