Summer is on the way, and while it may indeed be time for a vacation, summertime also may be the best time for students to catch up, keep up or move up in their studies. Without distractions of after-school activities or splitting limited study time over a full course load, summertime presents a great opportunity to make up lost ground or get ahead, according to the professional educators at the Learning Lab.
Catch Up, Keep Up, Move Up
If your child needs to make up a failed or missing course, earn extra course credit or improve critical skills in reading, math or studying in general, then summer learning may be just what he or she needs
to prepare for the fall semester. For example, research has shown that most students typically experience some degree of knowledge loss during the summer break.
“Knowledge loss can pose a real problem, particularly for students already struggling,” says Vanessa Adams, Director of Gateway Academy at the Learning Lab. “A summer school program can help keep a student sharp heading into the new school year.”
Summer also presents a great opportunity for a student to get ahead of the class, according to Ms. Adams.
“Students transitioning from eighth grade to high school can take geometry or chemistry to get ahead,” she says. “Those already ahead of their peers might consider an advanced class to strengthen their resume for college applications.”
Manage Learning Issues
If parents or teachers notice that a child is having learning issues, Dr. Alicia Taylor, Director of the Assessment Center at the Learning Lab and a clinical psychologist, suggests that parents confirm those before summer arrives.
“If learning issues can be identified early, students can obtain specialized instruction during the summer that addresses their particular learning style, without simultaneously carrying the burden of a full course load,” she says. “For those who have learning difficulties, a psycho-educational assessment can identify delays, learning disorders, weakness, or inattention, as well as processing problems, dyslexia and more,” says Dr. Taylor.
An assessment can help determine the best way for a child to learn and should contain study recommendations, goals for future learning, and accommodations for teaching, according to Dr. Taylor.
Optimal Learning Time