Parents and children often see summer as a much-needed break from the stress and structure of the school year. However, while summer break can certainly be beneficial for students all across Santa Cruz, studies show there could be a troubling loss of knowledge during the summer.
This is especially problematic for students who already struggle to keep up with other students due to special needs and educational disabilities, as well as students who do not have the resources or ability to participate in summer programs like camps.
Unfortunately, the burden of minimizing this summer learning loss can fall mainly on parents' shoulders. With that in mind, there are some things parents can do to help their children stay engaged in the learning process during the summer.
- Visit the library and/or participate in summer reading programs
- Check out museums and theaters (many have free admission days and weekend hours)
- Set aside time each week to have your child help you make dinner
- Reach out to neighbors through neighborhood apps to set up group activities or playdates
- Explore nature by going on walks, starting a rock collection or reading about insects
- Play age-appropriate games that focus on counting, strategy or other critical skills
Of course, it can be very difficult for parents to play the role of educator, especially when they also work full time. However, suggestions like these can make it easier to approach and take advantage of summertime learning opportunities.
Parents can also discuss with educators any summer programs especially for low-income families or students with special needs. Should any problems arise regarding eligibility, discrimination or compliance with federal funding requirements, parents can discuss their legal options with an attorney who can help resolves these and other issues that can adversely impact students.
While we hope that everyone has a relaxing and fun summer, we also want children to have access to educational resources that prevent loss of learning during these months. With these types of resources, students can avoid having to suffer additional setbacks to their learning experience.