Summer vacation from school is certainly a period of the year that many children are anxious to take a break from their academics. Parents and children often look forward to extra time watch television or hang out with friends. Children are ready to do anything besides schoolwork. However, this absence from the educational environment can lead students to lose math computation skills, reading comprehension and procedural skills for problem solving. A John Hopkins study found that students lose about 8 weeks of math skills over the summer break. This study also found the following consequences of summer learning loss:
- The greatest loss was found with mathematics skills
- Reading losses continue and are often not regained as compared to students who learn over the summer
- Early learning losses can impact future achievement including high school graduations and college
Children who are already struggling with the difficulty of school work, falling behind in their math skills and are unmotivated to independently learn or practice skills, may suffer from a greater loss of progress with the weeks away from the classroom. How does a parent determine whether there is a risk for their child?
- Were math grades consistently low
- Were math concepts challenging
- Does the child avoid schoolwork or homework
- Has the beginning of the school years been tough for the child
- Has learning loss happened over past summers
- Is the parent worried about their child’s overall academic ability
If the child meets any of these criteria, an intervention needs to occur. In order to limit the risk for potential setbacks, families can utilize the skill and experience of a math tutor. Math tutors are uniquely experienced with teaching children in an effective, one-on-one scenario to build needed skills. Particularly with children who may avoid doing independent practice and need individualized attention. Math tutoring can provide the following:
- Can build motivation and interest Challenging material can be reviewed Students can get a head start for the fall Improved academic adjustment in the fall Individual attention provided based on the child’s needs Tutoring can be for all different ages. While parents may feel confident (or not in many cases) with giving support to their early childhood aged kids, as children grow, their math work becomes significantly more difficult.
- Math tutoring can be helpful for grammar school students, middle school students, high schoolers and even college students. Math topics across a variety of areas can be targeted such as algebra, geometry, calculus and statistics. Math tutoring is provided by well trained adults who have experience in making the learning experience effective and interesting. They are able to provide training in a way that will keep the child’s attention and focus.
- Tutors can provide individualized learning to target the child’s particular math needs. Math tutoring will decrease the likelihood of learning loss over the summer months. The beginning of the school year can be challenging for many children as they need weeks to adjust to the classroom again but having a math tutor will decrease any difficulty with heading back to school.
Children who are struggling with math will benefit from increased support with tutoring. Parents can stay ahead of the summer curve through using a math tutor to support their children’s academic and learning future. Parents shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to find individualized help.