“How did you spend your summer vacation?”
Students all across the nation are being asked that question at the beginning of school. In 32 years of teaching, I found that many students forgot what they had done over those activity packed 3 months. It would come back to them when a familiar sight, sound, song, or smell hit them, but it is difficult to remember everything. Maybe the reason is they do not have to remember that information to be tested or drilled on. Maybe that type of information goes hand-in-hand with the students’ “summer slide” that has been a proven educational problem for many years. About two months of learning is lost throughout the summer break and for most students, that is two months too much.
Fun fact. In the 1800’s, students were kept at home during the summer to help out with summer farm work while a big city’s school year would be 248 days long.
Debates continue on whether year round school would be more advantageous for students with several breaks being placed strategically throughout the year. In 1973, 15 states, including our neighbor, Colorado, adopted a year round school calendar. Some studies say that without the long summer break, students do slightly better.
Needless to say, learning needs to continue throughout days, months, years, and no matter the age.
A reminder to those of you that do not wish to spend a lot on college classes, the State Library of Kansas has over 500 Universal Classes to take for fun, knowledge, continuing education credit, and a certificate for…get this…FREE at kslib.info.
Maybe teachers need to be asking, “What didn’t you get to do this summer?” Just a suggestion.
Happy Back to School Reading!