Parenting

Preventing Summer Learning Loss

The last day of school is an event every student and parent can hardly wait for, finally a break from the tests, homework and projects that dominate the family’s daily schedule.

Unfortunately, viewing summer vacation as a complete vacation from learning can result in a big learning loss.

“Kids can lose up to two and a half months of learning over the summer months. If they are already behind that puts them in a difficult position in the fall when they go back to school,” said Corey Godfrey, education co-ordinator, Oxford Learning Centre, Ottawa.

Math and reading, two of the foundational skills to any education, are often the first to dissipate over summer break according to Godfrey.

Finding time to incorporate some reading time on a regular basis over the summer is vital to maintaining reading comprehension and building vocabulary.

“We recommend parents read with their kids for a minimum of 15 minutes every day but strive for 30 minutes. Encourage older children to read independently as well,” said Godfrey.

Parents and caregivers can help students keep their math and reading abilities sharp by providing everyday opportunities to use them.

Incorporating math practice into a child’s daily schedule may be a little more difficult than doing the same for reading skills, but is just as important.

A trip to the grocery store can involve counting, sorting and calculations with money, remind kids of fractions while slicing their pizza.

Keeping a journal or scrapbook about summer vacation promotes writing. Reading a book and comparing it to its film version encourages critical thinking.

“Parents can help their kids remember and retain information if they are a bit creative, and it doesn’t have to feel like work. Just try to get in some type of learning every day,” said Godfrey.

Web sites such as CoolMath.com and CoolMath4Kids.com offer one way to have children polish their math skills with fun activities.

If a child struggled in their classes during the school year, investing in private tutoring lessons over the summer may be a wise investment. There are a variety of companies that offer programs for kids from elementary school through high school using methods that focuses on the needs and level of each child.

Assessments at the beginning and throughout the process keep tabs on a student’s progress.

By finding creative ways for children to practice skills in their daily lives, and taking advantage of educational programs offered in the community, parents can avoid a lapse in learning and give your kids the tools to begin their next school year with confidence.

For more information about learning loss over the summer please visit the Oxford Learning Centre website.

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Vicki L Morrison

Thanks to her husband's military career Vicki reinvented herself as a writer so she could work from home, while taking care of their three kids. A former MFRC executive director Vicki is a passionate advocate for military families who loves telling their stories.

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