Summer Vacation = A Break from Learning...I-Don’t-Think-So!
What plans do you have for the kids this summer? Perhaps your kid’s summer days will look like the Country Time Lemonade Commercials where kids swing from a tire tethered to a tree and disobediently run across fresh mowed grass that mirrors a buzz cut. Or perhaps their summer will look like Spike Lee’s Crooklyn where endless games of hopscotch, tag, double Dutch competitions and water gun fights are played in front of the steps of a Brownstone row. That is what summer is about, right? An earned mental break where cobwebs and dust can grow freely across the information obtained in the school year happily left behind. Successful completion of a school year does seem to warrant some time off from learning. I sure feel like I need a break. After all, my husband and I will have survived:
- Morning mad, dash madness to meet the school starting time.
- Middle schooler angst about everything (and I do mean everything).
- The kindergartner’s obsession over when his loosened teeth would cease to wiggle and finally pop out.
- Lost or left behind book bags, lunch boxes, books and homework.
- The weekly stress of trying to make a healthy and desirable lunch (which I did not succeed at doing, according to the middle schooler)
Studies show during summers off from school:
- Most youth lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.
- Parents cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure their children have productive things to do
- Kids spend more hours per week in self-care over the summer than during the school year (10.3 vs. 4.8 hours per week)
- Keep what they learned fresh in their minds
- Get a head start on next school years material
Tips for Maintaining Summer Learning:
- Review parent friendly version of the common core state standards to be implemented in most states by 2013-2014 with children to get them prepared for the next school year.
- Ask the teacher to provide you with or recommend materials or programs she/he feels will benefit your child during the summer.
- Also check out this nifty infographic