There has been a lot of research over the years on how students take a step back in their academic progress over the summer. Some studies show that students lose up to three months of their grade level equivalency, with math skills taking the hardest hit. Anecdotally, you can probably think of a few moments when your child was a little rusty at the start of the school year. How can you help your child prevent the summer slide, and still take the time you all want and need to relax and have fun?
The first step is to identify the subjects that your child currently has the biggest challenges with. Those will most likely be the subjects that he or she will need help getting up to speed on in September. The next step is to look for any enrichment opportunities offered by camps, local libraries, volunteer groups, or foundations in your area. For example, if your child consistently struggles with math or science concepts, there are great STEM-themed camps going on throughout Los Angeles at various times in the summer. If your child struggles with history or English, think about signing him or her up to a Shakespeare workshop. Chances are, these activities will present the material in fun and engaging ways that don’t feel like schoolwork. Often, you can sign up for these camps by the week and some, by the day.
If you have travel plans, look ahead to what kinds of enrichment activities you can take advantage of while you are on the road. Heading to another country? Why not plan a trip to some culturally and historically enriching locations, or help your child strengthen his or her foreign language skills. Taking a road trip across the U.S.? Take a few moments during the trip to look up historical landmarks and book a guided tour with a professional.
If your child has an open schedule during the summer, it is a good idea to bring in an academic manager to work on any summer reading projects or assignments. An academic manager can help your child pace his or her work, and prevent the rush to finish the week before school starts. In addition, if your child has an interest that verges on the academic, such as music production, an academic manager could work with your child to create a podcast, or research and write about a favorite musician. Let us know how Franklin can help you find a great academic manager for the summer. We work seven days a week, year-round, to help children develop a love for learning. Let’s keep your child’s progress moving forward!
On behalf of everyone at Franklin, I hope you have a fantastic summer!
John Posatko, M.Ed.
Director of Education