Things to Keep in Mind When Avoiding the Summer Slide
Most young people are out of school for about 10 weeks during the summer months. What do those out-of-school hours mean? Teachers often report that youth experience a “summer slide,” or a decrease in their students’ achievement over the summertime. At Click2Science, we think that summer is a great opportunity to give all kids a chance to engage in hands-on, minds-on learning! Here are some things to think about as you spend time with youth this summer.
Quality over quantity.
Whether you’re a working parent or a program leader in charge of 500 kids at camp, it’s important to remember that providing high-quality learning experiences a few times over the summer is better than spending eight hours a day in structured camps or clubs or classes. These deep learning experiences pay off big time, in increased graduation rates and even post-secondary success.
Just because it’s fun doesn’t mean it’s not learning.
Out-of-school time learning is supposed to look different; it’s a tremendous opportunity to engage youth in hands-on, local STEM learning. A visit to a local park, a walk around the block to pick up trash, writing letters, or even having a good conversation about a movie you’ve seen can all stimulate youths’ minds and connect them to their interests.
Are you involved in summer learning? Here are some additional resources to spark your planning:
- PBS’ Summer Learning Collection has amazing activities and ideas to spark learning.
- The National Summer Learning Association has a wide range of resources to support summer learning organizations, including a short research brief on STEM in the summer to study with your team.
- Celebrate National Summer Learning Day by joining a local event on July 13, or following along on Twitter!