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Mike Riehls

Keep learning through the summer


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August 08, 2013
Q. How can families pave a summer path for success in school?

A. All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. According to the National Summer Learning Association, “Research spanning 100 years shows us that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer and most students lose about two months of math skills over the summer months.”


While these studies have shown students lose 2.6 months of math learning, literacy is most affected by the summer break.

Don’t let your children fall behind this summer.

Students who are already struggling or have learning challenges are most at risk. Without intervention, the achievement gap between successful and struggling students widens over the summer. But, if students focus on developing their skills over the summer, they can actually gain ground and feel more confident when they go back to school in the fall.

Here are some tips for parents from the National Summer Learning Association:

Locate a summer program that fits your budget.

Head to the library. It’s a great, free resource.

Encourage your child to discuss or write about the books they are reading.

Take free or low cost trips to parks, museums, zoos and nature centers.

Take day trips and create an educational theme for the day.

Prepare for next year by asking teachers for summer packets and books you can borrow.

Give math “meaning”: measure items in the house, learn fractions while cooking, track daily temperatures, add/subtract prices at the grocery store.

Take advantage of free online resources and create a “play school” in your home.

Create a schedule for the summer that includes structure, limits, and time designated for learning.

Foremost, create an educational plan with your student and stick to it. It can be very difficult to keep a schedule during the summer break, but it will be beneficial to get your child into the habit of doing a little reading/studying every day at a designated time. Short, regular sessions are the key to success. Also, while the summer months are ideal for students who need to catch up, keep in mind it is the perfect time for gifted students to improve skills or develop new ones. For many students transitioning to elementary or middle or high school, there is a natural fear of what to expect, worry about if they are ready, and stress about how they will measure up. Developing their skills and building up their confidence over the summer will go a long way toward ensuring September is a success in your house.

For more information on summer learningideas, contact Richman at Tutor Doctor of Metro Detroit at mrichman@tutordoctor.com. The Tutor Doctor of Metro Detroit is a member of The Family Center’s Association of Professionals.

Enriching Our Community Through Stronger Families

The Family Center serves as the community’s hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded to promote a deeper understanding of the role of parents and others in supporting our youth to become competent, caring and responsible community members.

All gifts are tax-deductible.

To volunteer or contribute, visit familycenterweb.org, call (313) 432-3832.

E-mail: info@family

centerweb.org or write to: The Family Center, 20090 Morningside Drive, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236.


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