Summer vacation is only a few tiny weeks away for most students and their families. We know that most parents look forward to summer vacation almost as much as their children! It is a welcome break from the daily grind of homework and projects of the school year. But if your student doesn’t practice the skills he/she learned last school year over the summer, it could lead to a loss of learning. That’s why summer tutoring is such a popular choice for Club Z! families, and why Club Z! offers tips and strategies to ensure tutoring success over the summer months.
Summer “Brain Drain”
According to a study by Duke University’s Dr. Harris Cooper, a leading expert on summer learning loss, long summer vacations “break the rhythm of instruction, lead to forgetting, and require a significant amount of review when students return to school in the fall.” According to Cooper’s study, students’ overall achievement test scores drop by about one month, on average, over summer vacation. Skills in mathematics and spelling usually take the biggest hits, with math skills suffering almost a 2.6 month loss in achievement.
In addition, local and state education budgets are stretched so much that schools are rarely in a position to be able to fund remedial programs, and students who once depended on summer school for enrichment classes may find themselves out of luck. This has lead parents to consider alternative ways of keeping their kids intellectually stimulated over the summer.
Consider Summer Tutoring
Summer tutoring and test prep services, such as those provided by the experts at Club Z!, can help children catch up or get ahead with one-on-one tutoring in the home, or online. Take advantage of the summer months to remediate or accelerate your child in areas like reading comprehension, mathematics, writing or SAT/ACT test prep. Club Z! even offers programs in foreign language and study skills (with an emphasis on note-taking strategies, reading comprehension skills & prioritizing deadlines) that will help your child start the school year off right.
Unlike traditional learning centers, which can be located far away from one’s home, in-home and online tutoring programs bring qualified instructors directly to your house, around your busy summer schedule. Summer tutoring with an in-home or online tutor can:
- Rebuild self-esteem that was battered by bad grades during the previous school year.
- Close the achievement gap by helping students catch up and get ahead before the start of the new school year.
- Prepare high school students with the strategies, skills and confidence to take upcoming ACT and SAT tests.
- Reinforce skills for children with learning disabilities who might otherwise lose skills from a 2-3 month separation from formal learning.
- Provide money-saving enrichment and accelerated learning opportunities outside of traditional daycare.
- Enable students to master benchmarks necessary for passing state reading, writing and math standardized tests.
- Allow kids to explore and develop the skill areas they find interesting, such as art, music and foreign languages.
Summer Learning Strategies
The following tips can help you transform the summer break into an opportunity for your student to sharpen his/her skills through fun and interactive ways. Follow these tips and send your children back to school smarter and more confident than when they left!
- Take frequent trips to the library and register your child with a library card. A prime predictor of summer reading loss is a lack of books at home and limited access to library books, so keep a good selection of high interest, level appropriate books around the house. Schedule a consistent “reading time” daily for your child.
- Attend thematic programs at the library. Libraries often host a great variety of summer programs for kids that celebrate reading.
- Talk to your child’s teachers and ask them what your child will be learning next year at school. This way you can tie in family trips with next year’s curriculum to create a more meaningful hands-on experience. For example, if your child will be studying a unit on the civil war, plan a visit to Gettysburg.
- Give your child a gift card to a bookstore, or give books as gifts. You can also gear up on learning materials such as educational games, flash cards, art supplies and writing materials.
- Check out audio books from the library for your child to listen to stories in the car.
- Research has revealed a direct connection between learning to play a musical instrument and an increased aptitude in mathematics.
- Turn summer activities into learning opportunities! Practice vocabulary and measuring skills while cooking or cleaning the house. Engage your child in planning a summer vacation with mapping, researching cities and learning history of various areas.
For more information on how to make the most of your child’s summer, call Club Z! for a FREE in-home evaluation. Let our tutoring experts craft a tailored learning plan for your student to help ward off the dreaded “summer brain drain.” With the right program and tutor, summer tutoring CAN be a fun and enjoyable experience! At first, your son or daughter may balk at the idea, but once they get their first-quarter grades in October, they’ll be thanking you. To find the location nearest you and schedule your evaluation, call Club Z! at 800-434-2582 today!