A steady 10 week summer diet of tv and cannonballs in the pool can do a lot more damage than we realize. Referred to as Summer Slide or Brain Drain, learning loss is inevitable when kids go long stretches without engaging in learning experiences. Most students lose an average of 2 months of math skills, and low income students are at far greater risk, falling behind an average 2-3 months in reading skills.
“So what can we do?!” concerned parents ask at end-of-year conferences. While hiring tutors or enrolling in summer school programs are great choices for some, for many families any teaching that happens over the summer months falls to the parents, and putting on that Teacher Hat can be a daunting prospect!
As teachers, it’s easy enough to provide parents with worksheets, reading logs, and math drills, but this can easily backfire and set families up for a summer of battles. Parents often feel they need to structure learning as “sit down and finish 3 workbook pages,” prying kids from a fun activity and making learning time the equivalent of force-feeding brussel sprouts.
The key to helping parents support their child’s continued growth over the summer is giving them the tools to make it fun and seamless, and there are great ideas out there! Need inspiration? Check out this family’s Garage Olympics – learning is EVERYWHERE here, but when bubbles and sprinklers are involved it hardly feels like a math class!
With some creativity, the possibilities for fun summer learning are endless, yet the transition from flashcards to hopscotch multiplication is often a stretch.
Teachers and Parents… Please share your ideas!
What can parents do to help their young learners stay on track over the summer… without sacrificing summer fun? Sharing your tips by commenting below!