No matter the racial, ethnic, or cultural differences among us, we all share one common experience: we’ve attended school. And, part of the schooling process, at least in most school systems, is summer vacation. Unfortunately, during those hazy and lazy days, much of what we learned during the year begins to slip and slide. OnlineCollege.org reports that while low-income and high-risk students are most susceptible to academic loss, the average summer loss of math computational skills is equivalent to 2.6 months of learning. Fortunately, there are numerous ways parents can prevent that slide.
David Von Drehele, author of “The Case Against Summer Vacation,” written in July 2010 for the Time Magazine online edition, reported that informal, church-led alliances take children around the world via learning assignments. Based on a World Cup theme, the church focuses each week on a new country where the children explore food, history, and cultural traditions. With math and science lessons quietly tucked in to the activities. A local church may do something similar.
Finding a tutor does not mean finding some high-priced academic or learning center. Often an older student who excels in a particular subject and looking for a summer job might work as a tutor for your child (or a group of neighborhood children).
Set up a neighborhood car pool where once a week, one parent takes a small group on an adventure that has students answer questions or do short assignments related to the outing. Another option is downloading free lesson plans on the Internet, and even if you don’t have a computer, it is likely someone you know owns one.
Talk to your child, especially as September draws closer and discuss goals for the coming school year. If your child is attending a new school, visit it before September to allay first-day jitters, and familiarize your child with the layout of the school. Perhaps, you could setup a meeting with the principal.
"Education is the passport to the future,” Malcolm X asserted, “for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." Start securing that passport today, so tomorrow, your child passes into the future, thoroughly prepared.