EducationWorld Q&A columnist Dr. Matthew Lynch is an associate professor of education at Langston University. Dr. Lynch provides expert advice on everything from classroom management to differentiated instruction. Read all of his columns here, and be sure to submit your own question.
|Dr. Matthew Lynch|
This week, Education World asks:
Without taking away the fun of summertime, what are some strategies parents can use to avoid the “summer slide” with their kids?
First of all, thank you for sending us such an interesting and timely question. Many schools throughout the U.S. have recently wrapped up their school year, and many more will be doing so in the coming weeks.
Conscientious parents are happy that their children have a break from the drudgery of the school year, but they also want to avoid the summer slide. The summer slide occurs when children lose some of the academic skills and dispositions that they gained during the school year due to the absence and scarcity of quality learning activities during summer vacation. As the old saying goes, “If you don't use it, you lose it.”
To succeed academically, children need continuous opportunities to acquire new skills and practice existing ones. This need is especially heightened during the summer months, because children do not have the privilege of being educated by certified teachers.
When we think of summer, we think of a happy, carefree time when children can have fun and unwind. Sometimes, however, we forget about the potential learning opportunities to which we can expose them. In order to make sure that your child does not experience the summer slide, here are my suggestions.
Preventing summer slide can seem like a daunting task, but thankfully, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to pull off. All you need is to be organized and have the right plan. I have provided you with some simple strategies for preventing summer learning loss, without taking the fun out of the school break. When the new school year begins, your child will be armed with skills retained from the previous year, and hopefully will have gained some brand-new ones as well. Good luck!
Copyright © 2012 Education World