When your teen breaks up from school for the Summer, no doubt they’ll be pretty happy about it. The school uniform is left to gather dust for 6 weeks, in exchange for endless footie and days in the park. But while the long break can seem like an eternity to them, you know the next school year (and more exams) isn’t far away.
A worrying phenomenon at this time is Summer Learning Loss. As many kids try to think about school as little as possible, knowledge they’ve spent months learning can start to slip away. All those hours spent understanding the Treaty of Versailles, the contents of cells and how to find what X equals, if they’re not careful, can go to waste.
A recent study found that it takes an average of 6 weeks in the Autumn term for students to get back to the point they were at before the Summer. As well as that, up to 11 weeks of Maths skills can be lost over the holidays. That’s not to mention one month of learning across the other subjects that can also fall by the wayside.
How you can prevent it
But while it’s very common, Summer Learning Loss doesn’t have to be inevitable. Just 2-3 hours of intellectual stimulation per week during the holidays is enough to keep a student on track. Here are some tips to stop your child from losing their hard-earned knowledge:
1. Free/cheap local attractions
A free local museum, cheap theatre tickets (there’s normally a youth discount) and nearby art galleries are all excellent ways to expand your child’s learning outside the classroom. They can relate it back to their schoolwork, while still enjoying the extra freedom and change of pace. This can be really beneficial in the long-term as it can help them to realise that not all learning takes place in the classroom. The freedom of the Summer break gives them the chance to explore new, mind-expanding hobbies such as drawing, acting and anything else.
2. Online resources
Fun and high quality online resources like TedEd and Khan Academy are also completely free. With high-quality videos and exercises covering nearly all subjects, your teen can access whatever they need with ease. By using some initiative in this way they can practice independent learning skills, and follow their interests to find what interests them the most.
3. Summer courses
At MyTutor, we’re offering 6-week Summer learning courses to help kids stay on track with their learning. Whether they need help with GCSEs, A Levels or university advice, we’ve got friendly expert tutors on-hand to help.
The focus and support of one-to-one tuition gives your teen structure and a boost of confidence outside the school term. They’ll still enjoy the holiday, without getting behind on any of their work.
As one parent told us, “There are three main reasons I choose to tutor my son over the summer holidays – to consolidate his knowledge from the previous year, to fill in any gaps he may have and to ensure he has a strong start to the new school year in September.”
4. Mental stimulation at home
A collection of library books your teen can browse, a creative project such as painting or poster-making, or even mind-bending board games are all great ways to keep them mentally busy. By having a stash of things for them to do at home, they can keep pushing themselves and learning without the pressure of planning a whole day out. As well as the digital resources above, it’s fun to mix it up with physical activities too. You can even get involved if you like (and if they let you!).
This summer, we’re offering a series of 6-lesson courses to help combat Learning Loss. For Maths, Chemistry, and Modern Languages, we have a team of tutors on-hand and ready to help your teen. Click here to find out more and to book your child’s place.