Tuesday, May 29

summer brain drain...A to Z

Summer is just around the corner. While we definitely believe that summer should be a time for family vacations, relaxation, exploration, and memory making, we--as educations--also dread the summer brain drain that most students experience. Check out these stats from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning, quoted in Dr. Ruth Peters' MSNBC interview about summer learning loss. 

Summer Learning Loss Stats 
  • All students experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer.
  • On average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills during the summer months.
  • Low-income children and youth experience greater summer learning losses than their higher income peers.
  • Students may not have the same structured meal schedule and access to nutritious meals during the summer.
  • Studies show that out-of-school time is a dangerous time for unsupervised children and youth.

Important Facts 
  • Only about 10 percent of students nationwide participate in summer school or attend schools with non-traditional calendars.
  • A majority of students (56 percent) want to be involved in a summer program that “helps kids keep up with schoolwork or prepare for the next grade”.
  • Research shows that teachers typically spend between 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer.
  • At least 11 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 12 care for themselves over the summer months (unsupervised).

Yikes! So what can you do to help your child beat the summer brain drain this summer? At Fairmont we recommend a careful balance of summer fun and academic preparation. Fairmont's Summer Program offers a split-day program with summer school in the morning, summer camp in the afternoons, and off-site field trips on Fridays. This model gives children a chance to prepare for the next school year while still having a summer camp experience--complete with pool days, crafts, outdoor excursions, team building, and more. 

No matter what your plans are for your kids this summer, be sure to supplement play time with learning opportunities whenever possible so they are well prepared for the next school year. 

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

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