Make Summer Count!
Posted June 25, 2012 by Karyl M. in Beaumont, CA
Many parents do not realize the importance of summer instruction for their children. Our school classrooms have become overcrowded and understaffed and the best of students are overwhelmed with the amount of math and language arts being presented, in order for them score higher on mandated state testing each spring. Research has proven that students lose important skills during the summer months which must either be re-taught in the fall, or in the worst-case scenario, be overlooked while new material is presented. This is a real problem particularly in math where new concepts are always built on the previous skills which have hopefully been learned. Due to the mistaken belief that students should be given “time off” from school work during the summer, parents are reluctant to look into private tutoring or other summer reading, writing, and math programs. This is unfortunate as even 3 or 4 hours a week could provide review of skills taught at the previous grade level or provide an introduction to concepts their students will expected to learn at the next grade level.
It is important to find a tutor that will individualize a summer program to fit the needs of your child whether they are working below basic grade level, at grade level, or even above. Students who are accelerated need especially to be challenged and given projects to complete that will stimulate their reasoning and research skills. A multi-year study, which was published in 2006, determined that elementary students who are not involved in any formal study plan over the summer can fall below their peers one full grade level by the time they reach junior high school. Another idea to consider, is having a student who has struggled in math work with a tutor on the math curriculum that will be presented in the coming fall so he/she can build understanding and confidence for the coming year. This is particularly a great idea for high school students who are moving from algebra to geometry or geometry to algebra II.
It is important that every parent consider an academic summer program for their student. There are many programs available that are less expensive than private tutoring, but when possible, private tutoring, that can be modified for a child’s specific learning style and needs, is the best possible choice.
Karyl M. in Beaumont, CA
Owner, Private Tutoring Center
Educational Services Director (retired)
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