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Developing a Summertime Learning Program for Your Child

While many children can’t wait for school to end and summer to start, come early July they often find themselves wishing for something to do. Indeed, the season can be a time of boredom, filled with long hours of unimaginative video game playing and television watching.   This lapse in learning can have a negative impact on students’ mental capacity. One research study collected by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Summer Learning shows that children typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they did on the same tests taken at the beginning of summer vacation. A different study claims that, on average, students lose 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills before going back to school in August or September.   Local and state 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.   Here are a few ideas for parents who want to stop the summer backslide:
  1. Gear Up on Learning Materials such as books, games, flash cards, art supplies and writing materials.  Commit to working, reading and playing with your child.
  1. Make a Summer Activities a Learning Experience. 
    • 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.
    • Encourage your child to read the daily newspaper with you each morning or once a week.
  1. Take Your Child on “Field Trips” in Your Community.  Visits to the library, museum, parks and even the beach can provide a host of learning opportunities.
  1. Consider a Summer Enrichment Program.  This will provide positive reinforcement to help build confidence and meet the needs of students who have a history of struggling in school.
Unlike traditional learning centers, which can be located far away from one’s home, in-home tutoring programs bring qualified instructors directly to your house, around your busy summer schedule. Summer tutoring with an in-home 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.
  Whether you’re worried about your child’s grades, or you just don’t want her to become a TV-worshiping zombie this summer, you should consider keeping education at the forefront of your summer tutoring plans. 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.
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