Why Summer Learning Programs

Students and teachers alike look forward to summer vacation. Freedom! Nothing to do!

Well, not exactly. Teachers will vacation, but they also attend continuing education classes and teacher workshops. Their summer learning will sharpen and improve their skills. The same can be said for students who participate in summer learning programs. They will return to school ready to learn with new skills and more confident positive attitudes.

Generally speaking, when students return to school each year, educators deal with “summer slide.” Teachers must provide intensive review of prior year skills for students to understand the new grade level curriculum.

But summer learning students come back to school ready to go. They have not lost the knowledge foundation needed for the new grade level. They have practiced the skills and learned new curriculum.

Traditionally we think of “summer school” as the place to go when we fail a subject such as math or reading. Now parents and schools recognize summer learning as so much more:

  • Summer learning allows focus on a few subject areas or test preparation courses, which are free of the usual school year class workload.

  • Students in smaller tutorial groups or test preparation courses improve their work habits and become more confident in their ability to learn.

  • Smaller classes, in a relaxed environment, are often the change a student needs to learn more successfully.

  • When students learn new skills they feel more confident, and they develop a more positive attitude toward school.

  • A positive attitude, confidence and determination are as important in a child’s school success as the knowledge they have gained.

Parents and teachers can show their love and support by encouraging children to learn throughout the summer. Summer learning programs provide tutorials and test preparation classes, but they also balance this classwork with fun activities to make vacation memories with friends and family.

Your local library, zoo, botanical garden, churches, recreation centers and YMCA centers have a wide range of activities for kids of all ages. Have a wonderful summer!

Ellen Mooney is a retired principal and teacher with more than 45 years of experience in K-12 education.


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