Summer Activities for Middle School Students by: Allison Becker

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Especially for middle school students, learning loss after almost a year and a half of education during a pandemic has been a huge concern. And it’s true that our middle schoolers have struggled a lot during COVID-19. However, combating learning loss in these students doesn’t have to look like practice pages from a textbook or online summer school.

Below are some practical, positive activities for middle school age students to do over the summer, all designed to help them grow and further their education.

  1. Summer reading challenge! Many libraries, schools, and other organizations offer structured summer reading challenges for students. Consider getting your child involved in one of these. But, if that sounds like a little much, challenge them to read at least three books this summer that fit these guidelines.

    • First, any book they want! This could be a graphic novel, a fantasy piece, or something based on a film or television show — anything that makes them eager to read!

    • Second, a book written by a person from a culture or group of which your child is not a part. For example, it could be a book written by someone from another country. It can be fictional; the goal is to expose middle schoolers to a way of thinking that may be different than what they experience every day.

    • Third, a nonfiction book. Whether it’s a memoir, biography, or history, encourage them to find a book that tells a true story. I’m sure your local librarian will be happy to help!

  1. Get creative! For middle school age kids learning about themselves and how they fit in the world, creative expression is immensely valuable and educational. By this age, most children have a few specific creative activities that they prefer; allow them to explore those. And yes, while we don’t always want them on screens, creating skits and doing dances for TikTok counts as creativity! Other creative activities to encourage are making music, writing, and exploring different visual art mediums.

  1. Do something in the “real world!” One great piece of news for middle schoolers now is that, with COVID vaccines now available for ages 12 and up, a lot more opportunities are open to them. Work with your child to think of a practical activity they can do over the summer—something like babysitting, volunteering with a church or local group, or assisting you or a family member/friend with work. Whatever you find should inform students about things like finances, social awareness, and how education is applied in the real world, but most importantly, it should interest them!