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Cultivating Summer Learning

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By Ben Zimmerman, Thinking Organized Tutor

As the school year draws to a close, parents begin to ponder many questions:

  • Should we consider summer school?
  • Do my children really need to read during the summer? They have to read so much during the school year.
  • Should I spend hundreds of dollars on camps in the hope that they will generate a creative experience?
  • How much help with learning do my students need over the summer?

Summer is a critical time for students, particularly those with learning difficulties, to retain the level of skills and knowledge gained during the school year.  Students lose roughly equal amounts of math skills over summer regardless of the resources in their home, whereas variance in reading comprehension differs largely due to socioeconomic situations.  The reality is that children will not improve upon the skills learned during the regular academic year if there is not an emphasis on continued cultivation in the summer.

Hence, the essential question, “What are the most useful ways to prevent the summer slide?”

Let’s explore some alternatives:

Summer school: Although not usually the first choice for students, summer school can be a good option.  A trusted teacher who knows the curriculum is available to facilitate learning in a familiar setting. Enough said.

Tutoring: Continuing with summer tutoring services through Thinking Organized, provides a myriad of opportunities for students to progress their education as well as work on their areas of difficulty.  Thinking Organized provides convenient, personalized, professional support.  One-on-one tutoring or therapy can be tailored to individual needs, giving children a jump on the school year.

Summer camps: Camps are an excellent opportunity for children to experience activities that are outside of their regular realm of learning.  Socialization, independence and many life skills are among the benefits of summer camps.

Do it yourself: The “easier said than done” option.  In an ideal world your students would be willing to practice math and read independently during the summer.  If you live in the real world, the next best option is having your children work with you to further cultivate the learning done during the school year.

Regardless of what option you choose, don’t forget the FUN! After the routine of school, the pressure of grades and the stress of exams, parents and children both need to breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate the end of another school year.

smortoCultivating Summer Learning

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