It was not unusual for Emily Hayden to spend the first three or four weeks of a new school year re-acquainting her students with material they had learned the previous year. That’s typically how long it would take to overcome the learning students lost during three months of summer vacation.
Often called “summer slide” or “summer brain drain,” educators recognize that time away from school is going to have an impact come fall. Hayden, an assistant professor of literacy education at Iowa State University and former elementary school teacher, says every day she spent playing catch up was one less day to devote to new material. While students deserve some time off, Hayden encourages parents to incorporate learning into summer activities.
“Summer is a good time to explore,” she said. “Find things your child loves so that it doesn’t feel like school work.”