It’s not exactly breaking news that over the course of summer breaks, many children tend to forget lessons they had learned over the previous school year. But according to some experts, “summertime learning loss” could potentially result in major academic problems once classes resume, especially for children with learning disabilities or underdeveloped social skills.
Recently, analysts at Florida International University (FIU) released information on how parents could potentially offset “summertime learning loss,” primarily by promoting diversified games and leisure time events - especially those involving math and reading skills - as well as routine social activity.
According to FIU Center for Children and Families director of outreach Jessica Robb, the summertime break may prevent children from socializing with others and even lessen their ability to follow directions from other adults, especially if it entails long periods of isolation in the home. Other experts at FIU agree that children benefit from being socially engaged over the break, whether at summer camps or on extended walks with their parents.
According to Laura Dinehart, an FIU education professor, children without social and/or learning opportunities may experience a regression in skills over the summer break.
“There are many parents who want their kids to relax and have fun, and that’s understandable,” she‘s quoted in an FIU news release. “But it’s possible to have fun and keep kids engaged in activities that can enhance their learning.”
“Summer gives you a big dose of time to be with your kids,” Robb said. “And there’s no reason why the learning process should stop.”