BC Parent Summer 2017

Page 26

Eliminating ‘Summer Slide’


fter a long break from watching your favorite TV series, one thing remains constant—preseason recaps are a necessity! Students leave their classes in June to a summer of leisure and fun, only to return to school a few months later with no ‘preseason’ recap and significant content loss. Even more alarming, a study in the Review of Educational Research found that students lose 2.6 months of math content learned the previous year over the summer break. Would this loss decrease if students participated in developmental activities throughout the summer? A study has shown that two to three weeks of an educational summer blitz would prevent the ‘Summer Slide’ of learning retention. Students would be ready to return to school, happy, confident and possibly even ahead of the curve. This problem is prevalent throughout the core subjects of math, reading and writing. Students of all ages lose educational content during the summer break; however, this loss is more apparent in students at the elementary level. Research has found that elementary students do not have the long-term memory skills to allow them to retain academic facts for months without continual reinforcement. What we know:

Students unconsciously disregard a significant amount of fundamental, scholastic skills over summer break. 26 BCPARENT CA s SUMMER

The traditional summer holiday breaks the rhythm of instruction, which contradicts the fact that children learn best when the educational material is presented continuously. The effects of ‘Summer Slide’ will accumulate unless mitigated by summer learning intervention. It is not just a problem for your child’s next school year; moreover, a problem that will persist throughout a student’s entire educational career. The ‘Summer Slide’ is preventable and only takes 20 minutes per day, or two hours per week! With some parental support, students should not have to experience this educational downturn. Results of a research synthesis conducted by Cooper et al. (2000) revealed that summer activities that focused on remedial, accelerated or enriched learning have a positive, lasting impact on student education. With summer right around the corner, here are some fun and effective ways to promote summer learning and stop the ‘Summer Slide’ phenomenon: UĂŠ Register for Active Learning Experiences. We live in an era of what we like to call “babysitting campsâ€?. Do your research and find an EDUCATIONAL DAY CAMP. Educational camps are a great way to keep your child’s mind active and engaged. They will serve as your child’s video recap of the previous year. UĂŠ Visit the local library frequently. Summer is a glorious time for all students to

By Tara Haddad of Aspire Math Academy

improve their reading education because they have the freedom to choose the books they find interesting. This is sure to keep your student engaged and reading throughout summer. UĂŠ Get instructional support. For struggling students, summer is the best time to provide your child with direct instruction. Some school districts offer special remedial programs during the summer. Alternatively, an educational organization can facilitate your student’s specific needs with a personalized program plan. UĂŠ Form a summer learning contract. Help your student set summer learning goals. For students who need a little extrinsic motivation, create an award system. UĂŠ Encourage writing. Give your child the opportunity to have a summer pen pal, whether it be a cousin in a different province or a friend responding in character. The goal is to have them put “pen to paper’ this summer break. Aspire Math Academy is currently accepting new pens pals and will respond to all letters sent to 200–1497 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC V7T 1B8. Other ways to encourage writing are: keep a vacation journal, creative writing prompts, pass out friendly notes around the neighborhood‌ be creative! 4ARA (ADDAD is the Founder of Aspire Math Academy, where they are passionate about eliminating ‘Summer Slide’ learning loss throughout the community. They also have a summer goal! They will provide any student in need of remedial learning to make an appointment with them to receive complimentary, academic consulting.

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