Home & FamilyParentingIt’s Time To Bust These Three Common Myths About Summer Learning.

It’s Time To Bust These Three Common Myths About Summer Learning.

Kids get worn out and need a break from learning.

There’s no doubt about it—the school year can wear kids down and cause learning fatigue. While a short break may be in order, studies show that a too-long break can actually have the opposite effect on the brain.  Rather than refreshing and rejuvenating the desire to learn, a too-long break can lead to boredom.  Kids thrive in the routine that the school year provides—without it, they easily lose their learning momentum.

The research is clear: after a two-month break from school and learning, kids are further behind than where they were when they left school in June.  In fact, they are 20-30% further behind—they’ve gone backwards in terms of learning.

It’s important to stick to a routine over the summer. Summer camps and other programs keep children from becoming bored, and keep them on a routine that gives them structure and allows them to thrive.

Without a doubt, a short break can be reinvigorating, but ensuring that mentally-stimulating activities a part of kids’ routines this summer is the best way to avoid boredom and keep kids’ mentally stimulated and ready to take on a new school year.

Schools shut down for a reason

The 10-month school year as it is now—running from fall through to summer—has a historic foundation. When formal schooling as we know it began, children in agricultural communities needed to help on farms during the summer.  And, in the era before air conditioning, schools in urban areas simply got too hot during the summer months.

Despite these reasons no longer being valid, the traditional model remains. There is in fact, no real reason that children should not be able to attend school year long, with regular breaks.

Some trail-blazing school boards are moving away from the traditional 10-months on, two-months off school year, and experimenting with full-year schooling. This helps to eliminate the summer brain drain that affects so many North American students over the extended break.

There is no longer a valid reason for a two-month summer break other than tradition.

Summer isn’t part of my kid’s overall education.

When the final report card comes home, kids and parents alike tend to think that the school year is done with. One grade has just been completed, and a break is a great way to commemorate that milestone. But, while a break might serve as a useful benchmark to bookmark the passing from one grade into the next, it does little to help make the transition into the next grade easier. In fact, the opposite is true: the break sets students back.

That being said, for many students—especially for those in high school—the summer break is an extremely useful opportunity to catch up in trouble areas and get a head start on next year. Summer frees up time for students to really focus on, and dig into, trouble areas, fill in learning gaps, to get ahead, and to really make sense of what was learned during the school year.  No wonder summer school enrollment is on the rise! It’s a great opportunity for students to catch up, keep up, and get ahead. And it’s often the only chance that students have to get that competitive advantage they need to have a better school year.

Summer should not be viewed as an entity separate from the school year, but as an important and necessary part of kids’ overall education.

Oxford Learning provides supplemental education services across North America. It offers programs for young people from preschool through university, and its cognitive approach goes beyond tutoring to ignite a lifelong love of learning. Find out more at http://www.OxfordLearning.com.


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