School may be out for the summer, but that’s no reason for learning to stop.
In fact, there’s every reason for learning to continue all year long, according to Crofton’s Kumon owner and director Jacquie Perdue. Kumon offers tutoring and educational advancement classes to students of all ages.
Over the summer, on average, Perdue said students lose about two months of what they learned and retained over the school year. When kids head back to the classrooms in late August, teachers have to spend several weeks reviewing old course work as opposed to starting something fresh and new.
“We call it the summer brain drain,” she said.
In Maryland, kids are off for about 10 consecutive weeks for summer break. In other countries, learning is continuous and school is in session all year long. Perdue said this contributes to the American education achievement gap and the struggles some students face.
“It’s important to keep their brains going on summer long,” Perdue said.
Crofton Elementary School runs a Summer Academy in July to help students maintain their math and reading skills, and Arundel High School offers a full list of summer assignments for students in grades nine through 12. The Anne Arundel County Public Library also offers an summer reading incentive program for all ages.
Kumon offers two, week-long boot camps for their current students in late August, just before school resumes. But all parents are welcome to come and get a list of recommended summer reading free of charge.
“Kids are used to being in school for six hours a day,” said Perdue.
For parents and caregivers looking to keep kids mentally engaged all summer long, taking as little as one hour per day on supplemental activities in reading or math can make a huge difference in retention. At the very least, Perdue said parents should set some kind of summer educational goal for their kids, such as reading one book a month.
She also suggested activities like workbooks or educational programs to keep kids learning and mentally prepared for school, which starts again on Aug. 27.