“When school children close their books in June, they too often forget about reading, writing and arithmetic until September rolls around.
For teachers that means a fall filled with remedial work. Educators typically spend four to six weeks getting students back to where they were at the end of the previous academic year. “
This phenomenon is referred to as summer slide.
Our school calendar was established when the vast majority of the population was involved in agriculture and schools were not climate controlled. Conversely, today only 3% of the population works in agriculture and schools have the ability to stay cool all summer long. Our 196 day school calendar (minus PA Days, minus snow days, minus sick days) simply does not provide enough educational instruction for today’s youth. This is especially true when students compete against international students for post-secondary schooling. To illustrate, Japan has 220 instructional days.
Now, I am not going to be the one to tell kids that they have to go to school for 30 hours a week all summer long; I value my life too much. But the fact remains that summer slide does exist and even the parents with the best intentions can’t commit to the hours needed during the summer months to keep kids skills up.
Studies have shown that students lose between 1-3 months of academic achievement over the summer. The subjects hardest hit by summer slide are spelling and math. So if a high-achieving student stands to lose at least a month of academic achievement what about a struggling student? Johns Hopkins researchers have found that some students lag behind by as much as 2 1/2 grades by fifth grade. Scary thought.
As a student progresses through the grade levels, the curriculum becomes more demanding and failing a student seems to be a thing of the past. Struggling students fall further and further behind and the summer slide can greatly exasperate their struggles.
So what can a parent do?
The very best decision would be to enrol your child in a summer academic program. Leeds Learning Centre offers full-summer programs that allow parents to balance all the fun that summer offers with just a wee bit of education. The best part is that you don’t have to be the one creating age-appropriate work to keep your kids learning. With as little as two hours a week Leeds Learning instructors can help prevent summer slide and keep your child’s skills up. For more intensive help we also offer academic clinics that can be up to 10 hours per week. Again, a student can attend academic clinics all summer long or you can choose weeks around your vacation schedule.
Your kids deserve a smooth September start. Why set them up for struggles by allowing them to lose valuable academic skills during the summer when they have more free time on their hands than ever.
We think your kids are worth it!