The 2013-14 school year is wrapping up. One of the big concerns now that students are going on break is they are going to forget some of what they have learned this year. Unfortunately, it is a fact that students can unlearn some of what they have worked so hard to accomplish. How do we combat learning losses during the summer? By embracing experiential learning to the fullest! Don’t waste your summer. You will have to go back to school before you know it. Get up and enjoy every day!

First, create a summer bucket list. What are some things you want to do over the summer before you have to go back to school?

1. Writing Practice: Start writing in a journal. Record your summer thoughts and experiences. You won’t regret this. Keep it forever and read it later.

2. Reading: Go to the library. Find a book that interests you. It could be a book about anything! I read a book my senior year in high school and was able to use it my freshman year in college while taking my first English class. Grab a friend and read the same book. Discuss it together. Also, libraries have teen programs with various enriching activities.

3. Math: I challenge you to create a summer budget. An honest budget and then I challenge you to stick to it.

4. Science & Geography: If you have a smart phone you can download the Geocaching app. This is an app that will send you on multiple adventures. Enter your zip code or city and tons of caches will appear for you to choose from. Each cache has latitude and longitude coordinates. Use the GPS on your phone to locate the cache. It is like a treasure hunt, except you don’t keep what you find. You leave it for others to find later. Most of the time each cache has a piece of paper available for people to write their own message and date they found the item. It’s fun to see who has been there before you. Additionally, if you don’t want to hunt for a cache you can set one up yourself for others to find. Grab your friends and go on a treasure hunt!

5. Science: Grab your friends and try a new recipe. Anything! Personally, I would look up recipes containing chocolate. Seeing as it is so hot in the summer you could experiment with fruit and make some yummy smoothies.

6. Social Studies & Science: Go to a park! There are lots of state and local parks around with all kinds of trails where you can go exploring. A lot of the state parks have some fascinating historical information too.

7. Science: Go to the Jacksonville Zoo! There is so much to see and do. Bring a camera and lots of water.

8. Reading and Writing: Research colleges and programs on Smart College Visit. Make an online log of your research through the website. Big Future is another great site to help you with college research. Visit a local college. Walk around and explore the campus.

9. VOLUNTEER! Pick an organization and get involved. Search for opportunities at Volunteen Nation or make an account with Hands On Jax and explore opportunities.

10. Internships: Nemours in Jacksonville offers internships to high school students. This is a great opportunity and an amazing thing to put on any college application. Don’t be afraid to call a business to ask if they have any opportunities available. The worst they will say is no. If you have an interest in animals you could call a local vet office and ask if they could use some summer help.

Ok. Now, there should be no signs of learning losses because everyone is going to go out there and have an adventurous and educational summer break. Student Futures believes in helping students get the most out of their education. Whether a student is trying to prevent learning loss over the summer or prepare for the following school year. Student Futures wants to help students succeed. Contact us today for more information about how academic coaching can help students excel.

Keep smiling and reaching for the stars!