Research tells us that without some form of learning during the long school holidays, kids will ride the summer slide – and not the fun kind. The term refers to the academic regression experienced by students over the summer break and is the main reason we continue to run our tutoring sessions during the long school holidays.
While the idea of forcing your children to learn when they’re free from the shackles of school routine might make you feel a little guilty, there’s actually nothing more beneficial that you could do for your kids. Cluey Chief Learning Officer, Dr Selina Samuels says every little bit of learning counts. “Even a small amount of time spent over the holidays consolidating what you’ve learnt over the course of the year is helpful,” she explains.
Not convinced? Just wait.
Consolidation of learning is one of the leading benefits of summer learning. It helps students internalise knowledge and skills and lay strong foundations for new concepts. It’s also a great way to clarify understanding and fill learning gaps. In a year defined by disruption and academic decline, this is particularly important.
Speaking of this (shall we say interesting?) year, research shows that kids were more anxious at school than ever before. With summer learning, the pressure is off. There are no tests to study for, no assignments to do – it’s a stress-free environment where children can focus on filling knowledge gaps and preparing for next year.
Ok, I’m sold. But how can I convince the kids that it’s a good idea?
We’re glad you asked. Dr Samuels says the best approach to engage students with learning over summer is to make sure that it’s not seen as a punishment but rather as an opportunity. “The most effective summer learning programs achieve balance by integrating academic support and challenge with physical activities, opportunities to play and explore and plenty of rest,” she says. In other words, if learning mirrors a classroom experience, it’s not fun and kids will avoid it like broccoli.
Enter your knight in bright orange armour.
Summer tutoring sessions, like Cluey’s, seamlessly slot in with the slower pace of the holidays and believe it or not, can be a lot of fun for kids. “Parents often tell us how much their children enjoy their Cluey tutoring sessions,” Dr Samuels says. “Their relationship with their tutor is more like a learning partnership than a student/teacher hierarchy so learning feels less like a burden and more like an opportunity,” she adds.
As well as one-to-one learning, Cluey offers group tutoring, which is not only a great way for your child to hang out with and learn from other kids but get some much-craved extra screen time too. For parents, a little more time to yourselves while your child is engaged in meaningful activities is an added bonus.
Whether your child needs to fill learning gaps, get ahead of the game for next year, or simply kill time during the long holidays, creating some opportunities for learning over the summer is the best way to keep your child intellectually active and engaged.