Summer can cause education setback

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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WICHITA, Kan. As the summer heats up, so do activities.

"We play outside, we do some chores, we swim a lot," said third grader Bella Peters.

And learning can get pushed to the back burner. But teachers stress ignoring education for these few months can lead to what's known as summer regression.

"Summer regression does not have to happen," said Valley Center Director of Learning Rebecca Khosravipour. "It is something that can be minimized pretty easily just by taking some simple steps."

A recent study finds most children lose about a month's worth of math and reading skills during the summer. As a mom and a teacher, Kesha Peters is all too familiar with this brain drain.

"We really spend a lot of our first nine weeks reviewing what happened in the grade they were in before," Peters said. "If those kids maybe did a few more things over the summer, we wouldn't have to spend so much time reviewing and we could get right into the meat of the grade that we're in."

To keep her own kids thinking, Kesha uses workbooks each day, but stresses learning doesn't have to come from pages.

"It doesn't have to be anything formal," Peters said. "It could be something as simple as when you're driving in the car or even when you're outside playing you know have them count how many baskets they make just little things that can help kind of keep their brains rolling."

Summer provides a chance to capture real life experiences, and transform them into learning opportunities.

"A trip to the grocery store can be full of learning activities," said Khosravipour. "We can get into measurement, fractions, budgeting, keeping a running total, adding, and subtracting, all of those things can happen in a simple grocery store trip."

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