Wednesday, June 3, 2015

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Kids Lose 20% of their information over the summer!

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In a time where the average American school district's Common Core based curriculum is 1.5 to 2 grade levels ahead of where it was 15-20 years ago, parents are discussing "how hard the work is" more often with teachers, tutors and town officials. Despite the discomfort from some regarding these changes, the accelerated curricula will not simply disappear into the night - and probably shouldn't - considering that the United States Education system is "in the middle of the pack in Science, Math, reading scores" (as pictured below) .



As such, with accelerated curricula as a national necessity in America, this is no time for parents to be losing ground in the battle to stay at or above grade level. Especially at the lower grade levels, where difficulties which may have gone unnoticed during the school year, or lack of retention from the most recent school years, can cause long term problems with a child's learning core and foundation. For example,  as stated in a recent study, "Two-thirds of the ninth grade reading achievement gap can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years; " (Johns Hopkins University) 



The study also went on to conclude that "For disadvantaged students, reading scores were disproportionately affected and the achievement gap between rich and poor widened." This is one of the many reasons that parents with the means to accomplish their summer learning goals should pair with a tutor or summer learning program that has affordable options for modern learning activities throughout vacation. This is especially prevalent in Mathematics where, "Summer learning loss was greatest in math computation and spelling." and "somewhat greater than reading". (Johns Hopkins)

In all circumstances, teachers across the country warn parents of the rust that can set in throughout the summer months, and seek out opportunities that will supplement a child's athletic, social and emotional growth activities with an infusion of Academic review and preview. 

According to another study at Johns Hopkins University, even the most academically successful children "can lose up to 2 months of information" in the summer months. Now if we only go to school 180 days per year, and we lose nearly 2 months of that information, that can measure out to 20-25% of the information learned throughout the year being lost, maybe more.

Considering this information, the battle against Summer Learning Loss is not only a battle being fought within our individual households, but also a test of time and dedication when thinking of the long term goals of getting into schools, and competing with our fellow peers. This especially applies to intricate subjects, like Math, Reading Comprehension and Writing, but can also permeate into cross genre classes like Social Studies and Science.

That concept of academic competition and worry can be overwhelming from many angles, and the new curriculum being used throughout the country as well as regionally can be frustrating for parents and students alike, but we all must remember that there are methods to prevent summer learning loss and brain drain from occurring.  If your child can establish a routine throughout the summer, he or she will be ahead of the class when concepts are being reviewed and get a head start on their grades for the new year!


Parents/Caretakers Should: 

- Encourage their children to read by getting them their own Amazon account, taking them to the local or college library, or a trip down to a local book store. 

- Push their child to examine the concepts that they will be seeing early in the following year by finding grade appropriate material online, or visiting a professional tutor or learning center for an Assessment. Standardized test material is always a helpful indicator, but often the nuances of how to address academic problems should be monitored by a professional. 

- Engage in interactive math software and discuss whether a child feels comfortable with the Math and Science tasks which await. 

- Ask about academic goals as often as we ask about athletic goals. We are what we believe ourselves to be! Do you want to take honors classes? Be on the honor roll? Go to an Elite University or College?

- Work diligently on Study Skills. Note taking, Classroom concentration, Test Taking, Test Preparation, Mental Preparation, Annotation, etc. these are the skills that make A students. 

- Keep a daily routine which involves academics. It is just as important as our daily exercise for our health and to prevent summer rust. 


Thus, summer tutoring is an effective strategy for students of all grade levels and capabilities and a necessity for any student aiming to increase their grade from a previous year, or re-learn a concept in Math, Science, English , or Social Studies.

At Think Tank Academic Group, we aim to create customized summer learning plans which increase a student's comprehension and output in all subjects by combining review items which strengthen needs from various angles. Our cutting edge math software, combined with our tried and true curriculum has been a staple in the North Worcester County community. We offer academic classes for Math, English, Science, Social Studies in all K-12 age groups.


For an opportunity to work on any, or all of these skills mentioned please contact 

Think Tank Academic Group

978 821 9209 

ThinkTankAcademics@gmail.com 

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