While many are enjoying the vibrant colors of spring and drinking in the sweet fragrance of blossoming trees and flowers, children are studying as they complete their final months of the school year. Summer break brings with it a whole variety of different activities for young people — vacations at the beach, fishing, romping in the park, visiting relatives, and more. But what many parents may not know is without continual enrichment opportunities, even throughout the summer, children stand to lose a good deal of what they gained in the prior year. Consider these facts:
- 100 years of research reveals that students generally obtain a lower score upon returning from summer vacation than they do on tests at the start of summer. (White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004).
- “Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains” (Cooper, 1996).
- Parents report summer as a very challenging time to ensure their children have productive things to do (Duffett et al, 2004).
By ensuring your child is exposed to summer school activities, in fun-filled ways, he/she will make considerable gains. Let’s look at 4 ideas for providing enrichment activities for your child.
Summer school can help your child catch up if he/she has fallen behind, learn new material that wasn’t learned in class, maintain current grade level so the child doesn’t fall behind, and/or help get ahead in subject areas. By keeping your child’s mind continually challenged, he/she is delighted when a new discovery is made.
During summer camp children have the experience of getting up-close with nature and exploring in-depth concepts they learned in a classroom setting. This really helps solidify those teachings by bringing an element of concreteness to the whole experience. Students of summer camp will participate in activities such as hiking, building forts, learning how to track animals by their prints, bird study, building fires, solving mysteries using evidence collecting, examining pond life, creating art, and more. Not only will the children learn an incredible amount of information, they will have so much fun doing it. The good news about that is research indicates children retain what they learn more readily when they have fun learning!
Many libraries offer reading and science programs during the summer, as well as art-related activities. During a typical reading program, students read so many pages in books they check out to earn tokens. At the end of the summer, the tokens are cashed in during a book “sale”. Many children are able to buy several good books with their tokens. You will have to check availability for such programs, as every county is different. All of the library programs are free, too.
Every state has several museums you can take your children to visit. Museums enhance what the child has learned about history, science, or art with hands-on displays, which appeal to the tactile learner. There are museums about past presidents, dinosaurs, art, the history of flight, nature, and much more. Most museums include interactive features, allowing your child to get experience.
As you help your child stay active both physically and intellectually, there is one other advantage you may not have thought about. By designing a summer program for your child and working on it together, you are gaining a closer bond with him/her.
At the Tenney School, we have been educating children since 1973. We provide a one on one experience so your child receives the attention he/she needs. With years of experience and many success stories, we realize the benefit of educating year-round. If you would like information about our summer programs please contact us today!