As a provider of after school and supplemental education programs, Eye Level firmly believes that practicing both math and reading skills outside of the classroom gives students a huge advantage in terms of both their academic skills and confidence. Like any other skill or activity, practice makes perfect! Similar to a musical instrument or athletic ability, the more a student practices and develops math and reading skills, the better that student will be come at working with arithmetic, variables, vocabulary, spelling, decoding and other skills associated with math and reading.
So what happens over the summer? If steady practice can help students build confidence and skills while they are in school, it becomes essential to continue this practice when school lets out. The National Summer Learning Association, founded by education expert, Ron Fairchild, explains that students can lose between 2-3 months of learned material over the summer. That is 1/5 of the entire school year!
Combating summer “brain drain” is not only simple, but can be a fun activity for your kids as well. Programs like ours place a high importance on fun and positive experiences for students. Summer work does not have to mean hours of endless worksheets completed alone. Instead, it is important to find a program and group of staff members that are passionate about their work and devoted to your children.
As little as one hour per week can ensure that your student will not only retain all of the information they mastered over the previous school year, but give them an edge on the new work that they will be encountering in the coming months. We of course, feel the more time your child can spend practicing their math and reading skills, the better prepared they will be for the coming school year.
In an interview with Duke University researcher, Professor Harris Cooper from the National Summer Learning Association highlighted that learning losses are greatest in areas of arithmetic computation and spelling. His research also highlighted the importance of small, well organized programs that deliver individualized instruction with experienced educators.
Educational activities can easily be built into your summer schedule through various games, family field trips and even some well-designed computer and online-based games. Some parents choose to develop activities for their students at home, while others may choose a more structured supplemental program to target their child’s overall academic needs. However you choose to approach your summer activities, Summer Brain Drain should play a role in determining your summer schedule to ensure that your student is confident and prepared for the coming school year.