That dreaded summer slide. There’s a mix of emotions that come with ending the school year. There’s the realization that when some of your students return in the fall, they won’t be where they were when they left you; they may be a little lower. There’s our question or concern of whether or not families want to “work” with their children over the summer. There’s the balancing act of knowing they might need to reinforce some skills but also knowing there’s a need for time to relax, recharge and PLAY! Then there’s the task of creating all the summer reinforcement packets! Who has time for that? In his blog, Facts and Fiction About the So-Called “Summer Slide” Do children really learn less during summer vacation? Less of what? psychologist, Peter Gray, Ph.D., research professor at Boston College, shares fascinating research. Gray states, “Very often people writing about the summer slide seem to assume that the only learning that is important is learning that occurs in school and is measured on school tests. It’s amazing to me how often this assumption goes unchallenged.”Part of the research found that while math calculation declined over the summer, actual math reasoning improved. Gray goes on to argue that, “For school children, summer is a time for immersion in real life. School, at best, prepares children for more school. Real life prepares children for real life.” To be fair, Gray does acknowledge that research has shown that students of poverty gain less and lose more over the summer, on tests, than do students not from poverty.
In another essay, The Culture of Childhood: We’ve Almost Destroyed It, Gray discusses the importance of preserving childhood and all that is learned by interacting/playing with others, particularly other children. Here are just a few of the valuable SEL things learned: authentic communication, getting along with others as equals, creating and understanding the purpose and modifiability of rules. Last summer, the LEGO Foundation released the LEGO ‘Play Well Report based on the survey of over 13,000 parents and children in 9 countries. Their research showed the following:
- Most parents wish for a positive and healthy relationship with their children.
- Parents themselves report that playing with their children makes them feel good. The report showed that 9 in 10 parents also say play is fundamental to their own happiness, and makes them feel relaxed, energized, and more creative. The same number say play also strengthens family relationships, builds trust, and helps them know their children better.
According to the article, Parenting in America, Pew Research Center; Social & Demographic Trends 2015 54% of parents said parents could never be too involved in their child’s education. In the same article, when asked if they wished they were more involved, 46% said yes. Parents want to be involved in their child’s education and many times summer is the perfect opportunity for them to do so.
What if ReadyRosie could provide your families with 10 weeks of activities that not only supported children over the summer but allowed children to learn in real life, preserved the culture of childhood, and provided opportunities for “playful parenting?” WE CAN! ReadyRosie’s Summer Soar materials support math, literacy, and SEL skills taught during the school year by teaching families how to play games that require the use of those skills in everyday situations. What better way to reinforce fractions than by following a recipe? ReadyRosie’s activities encourage families to play together while continuing to strengthen that family bond.
Don’t take our word for it, see what past participants shared: “Both my children were more prepared for going back to school.” “We were doing different learning games - and I didn’t even know that they were learning games!”
Imagine if the families you work with were making comments like these at the beginning of your next school year. Good news: we’ve got everything you need to get families inspired and ready to soar this summer!
For more information about Summer Soar, check out this overview of all the resources and click here to watch a recording of our webinar ReadyTeacher Chat: See Summer Learning Soar.