Education Weekly had an interesting post today courtesy of Walt Gardner entitled “Summer Learning Loss.” Gardner spells out one of the challenges of children in school, the usually lauded summer break:
Research has shown that students on average lose about one month of academic skills. For low-income students, however, the loss can be three times as much.
He concludes saying that:
In the final analysis, children need a change in scenery and routine as much as adults do. Learning does not take place only in classrooms.
It is clear that any long break in learning will hamper abilities to retain information. Research has proven the age-old adage that we should never stop learning. But what can one learn from the other? As adult students, learning is valued. That is why many of you come back to learning. The degree is important, the success and fulfillment of achieving a lifelong goal is exactly what you want. Many of adult students have kids, and setting that example for them is crucial to their development in the world.
Adults can learn from their own children’s sense of wonderment and curiosity. Whether on our own jobs, or browsing the internet at home, or taking classes, it is important to continue to seek out new knowledge. All of our six institutions offer summer classes, and taking one or two classes over the course of the summer shouldn’t impact your own summer schedule.
Also, many colleges offer recreational classes and you can always check the local paper for an instructional class like cooking or dancing. Although the summer is a break from the classroom, you should always engage your children in learning. Helping them to discover new information in the relaxing time of the summer months, might help you to continue learning as well.
By learning together, parents and their children can find constructive ways to be curious. And for both, staying curious is one of the most important facets of life. And getting back into “school mode” for the fall my not be so bad again.