Vacation Learning Loss: Do Kids Forget What They Have Learnt?
Do long vacations cause kids to forget what they have learnt? Read on to learn more about vacation learning loss in children.
To be fair, who doesn’t love vacations? Your kids seem to get a well deserved break and you suddenly do not have to rush about with tiffin or homework all day. However, there is a flipside of this too. You may have experienced this or you may have chosen to overlook it but it happens to be an issue that plagues many households.
Vacation learning loss or summer learning loss essentially refers to kids forgetting their academic knowledge and skills over the extended holiday phase. It has been observed that they seem to score lower after the vacation break in tests than what they did before it.
The Major Problem
The extended break with complete detachment from school and regular learning habits tend to take a severe toll on students. Research done over a hundred years has shown similar results. The results are even starker in students who come from low income families and are under pressure to perform well academically.
The Subjects Most Affected
The subject which is mostly affected is mathematics. Lack of regular practice is what leads to this setback. Reading and vocabulary skills are affected too. With regularity being the main issue here, students stay out of touch with the subjects for so long that they have a natural tendency to forget them. For students who speak a different language at home than what is used in educational instructions or while learning, the gap in their learning is even more.
Remedies to Prevent Vacation Learning Loss
There are a few techniques you can follow to prevent this in your children which involve keeping them in regular touch with their books.
1. Extended School Year
This as the name suggests refers to extra days of learning to make up for the loss. There are however several arguments against this as some argue that this would only lead to more fatigue for children.
2. Summer School
Summer schools provide for fun and learning at the same time. While your child can experience a variety of different and unique activities, he or she is also kept in touch with studies which tend to prevent vacation learning loss.
3. Modifying the School Calendar
This involves a more administrative aspect of it where a school would do away with such a long break in order to minimize vacation learning losses.
Role of Parents
Parents have a huge role to play during vacations. If you keep your kids enrolled in classes of different kinds or take them to the library to read often, summer learning loss will be much lesser. Summer learning programs are plenty and looking these up might be of great help. Even if you decide to go on a trip, if you involve your kids in doing research about the history and culture of the place, that might lead to enhanced learning for them.
Vacation Learning Loss is Not Temporary
While teachers generally spend around four to six weeks to teach the students what had already been taught, this vacation learning loss can carry on all through high school if not checked at an early age. Losses tend to accumulate and can have a greater effect later on in life.
To sum it up, it is pretty evident that vacation learning lossis a reality which you as a parent have to face. It is now in your hands, to decide how your children utilize all the free time they have and making them utilise this in a best possible way, by going to libraries or museums is an initiative you have to take.
Is it necessary to keep children busy with studies during vacations? What is vacation learning loss? How to prevent vacation learning loss in children? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team