Studies have proven that there is a correlation between long summer breaks and a decrease in retained academics by children. It has been found that children may lose between one to three months of learning with a long school break, especially in the content area of math.
The recent trend of moving from the standard three month summer break to a year round school schedule with shorter breaks throughout the year is a direct response to these studies. Even with the shorter breaks, you may still want to set a continuous interest in learning for your child, balancing education with fun. Here are some ideas:
1) Summer School
Summer school sessions can still provide educational benefits to your child. They’re a valuable resource for those children who are lacking in certain main core areas, such as science, math, reading/writing, and social studies. They are also great for students that want to excel or experiment with other courses.
2) Website Resources
There are now many creative ways of extending learning past the classroom. There are educational websites available on the Internet for preschool to high school aged children. For example, there are games focused on the use of math that are both fun and educational at the same time. These programs are designed to intrigue the interest of the child.
For older children, fun educational games exist for the main core areas of education, but there are also resources for preparing for the SAT. This is an opportunity for a child in high school to gain extra preparation skills for his or her future.
3) Local Community Programs
Many communities offer children an opportunity to keep learning alive through fun activities related to their community and culture. These programs are often referred to as enrichment programs, as they are designed to balance academics with fun through hands-on activities. This combines learning core skills in relation to the environment, while at the same time building relationships.
There are also specific camps that may be available in your community, such as “Math Camp”. These educational camps are designed around keeping the child engaged in the work, but through fun activities. They are usually scheduled for part of the day, so there is still a nice balance for the child. Many local libraries also host camps that are free of cost.
4) Tutoring Centers
There are many tutoring centers in your local community that you may consider taking advantage of as additional support for your child during summer break. Aside from private tutors, there are companies, such as Kumon that has centers in 43 different countries, and Sylvan that reaches students all over the world through its online services, in addition to having centers in America.
The focus of many of these tutoring centers is on math and reading, as these are the two identifiable areas that students tend to lack in. The sessions are not long, and these tutoring centers try to embrace the idea of making learning fun.
The key to keeping your child active in learning is to keep your child interested in learning. You may consider using these ideas to encourage continuous learning for your child that is fun and not over-demanding. When something becomes too overwhelming, it may cause a child to tune out what is trying to be taught.