One of the joys of being a parent is enrolling your child in school to experience all the delights of learning within a school building. The inevitability of summer break looming over parents' heads is enormous, especially in today’s learning environment. Some school districts have options of year-round school for their communities, nonetheless, any break even for a short or significant amount of time could be a catalyst for a child's educational journey. Summer slide is the loss of learning that occurs in many students over summer breaks. Such learning loss is especially prevalent in children who do not engage in reading or any educational opportunities during the summer.
The acquirement of knowledge must be cultivated, and not allowed to stand still fermenting on its own. For parents willing to encourage learning during summer breaks the question is, what types of resources are available for parents, especially working families and those in unique living situations? It is imperative for all involved in students’ learning to be flexible in teaching and learning, while understanding how to cultivate a sound educational foundation. Educators and parents alike must learn that instead of focusing on just a specific content to present to a child, instead hyper-focus on teaching the child how to learn the given material. Such foresight will have a considerable impact on each scholar’s learning both inside and outside the classroom.
Let’s also consider the scholars who experienced a significant life trauma that prevented them from enrolling in school during the regular allotted amount of school days. Kids Count Data Center gives estimates of those students who were neither enrolled in school nor received homeschool services. The likelihood of a summer slide of education for such students is very probable thereby further increasing these scholars’ academic achievement gap.
The learning of students with exceptionalities should also be considered and how their learning may be impacted during the summer months. Only a few students are selected annually to attend Extended School Year (ESY) in some school districts calendar year. EYS’s purpose is to provide the scholar with additional weeks of instruction, thereby maintaining the growth of skills essential to be sustained in response to the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals, respectively.
Summer slide also affects secondary education students. It is imperative to offer challenging educational opportunities for scholars to further advance their problem-solving skills as they prepare to enter the global market. Summer jobs and internships are available through city and state government departments in many areas around the U.S. and can be accessed through the school counseling office.
The websites of Google and YouTube graciously offer preventative summer slide measures for parents to utilize at home. For example, just an online search of, “easy science experiments at home" or searching for a new recipe to try provides opportunities for parents to create a learning experience that is not usually acquired within a school building. Little to no effort is needed to build on these students’ skills. For parents, this means it is not necessary to have the knowledge to give but rather to provide opportunities for students to attain knowledge and fight summer slide.
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