More Parents and Students Acting to Combat Summer Learning Loss

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New information from WyzAnt Tutoring suggests that more parents and students are taking action to prevent summer learning loss with private tutoring. Much work remains to be done, however, to ensure that all students have the awareness and resources necessary to avoid learning setbacks during the summer.

Summer vacation can be a lot of fun for children in the United States. Our nation’s youth often spend portions of their vacation at a summer camp, engaging in outdoor sports like swimming and tennis, or going on family vacations.

Increasingly, however, fears of summer learning loss have prompted some researchers and parents to call for more educational enrichment during the summer months. The National Summer Learning Association notes that, “All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer ... 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.” While the amount of summer learning each student needs varies from case to case, most observers believe that additional enrichment is beneficial.

A July 2010 survey by WyzAnt Tutoring suggests that many parents and students have gotten the message about summer learning loss and are proactively combating it with private tutoring. Nearly half of the tutors that responded indicated that they currently have students who are using the summer to prepare for classes in the fall. Another quarter of respondents found that areas in high demand during the school year—including math, science, and foreign language subjects—remained just as popular during the summer months. In fact, according to WyzAnt, overall demand for private tutoring falls by just 15-20% during the summer months.

With all the negative press about the country's education woes, it's refreshing to know that many students and parents have committed to combating summer learning loss. Apart from private tutoring and subject-specific strategies, other young learners may find summer learning opportunities in a good book or at a community event. Local libraries often organize reading challenges and other great activities. Whatever their preference, it is important for young people to stay intellectually active during the summer. As parents, teachers, and community members, it is everyone’s responsibility to provide summer learning opportunities.

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Daniel Breiner
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