MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Those lazy, hazy days of summer could set your child way behind in school next year.
Education experts warn research is overwhelming that children can lose an enormous amount of knowledge over the summer. For some kids, taking the summer off to play could put them behind in the classroom next fall.
Kids like 11-year-old Frankie Orndorf look at it this way.
“I kind of think we kind of get enough schoolwork during the year,” he said.
Frankie’s mom, Ellen Orndorf said she can’t afford to have her children fall back behind over the summer.
“My kids both read and do math programs over the summer. We just can’t have them lose those skills,” she said.
Educational experts said Ellen is right, that unless kids do math and reading over the summer they will forget what they learned.
“They can lose three months and we know it can take three months to get them back where they were in May,” said Joan Arbisi Little, the associate director of the Center for School Change.
Little said math skills are the first to slip away and among the most difficult to get back.
“Math is harder. I like to tell kids it’s like a sport, if you don’t practice it, you fall behind,” Little said.
So what’s a parent to do? You can buy those work books you find at stores this time of year and make your kid practice.
Only nine percent of kids across the country are in structured academic programs in the summer. Many other families try to do what Frankie’s mom does, work on problems at home.
“It’s worth it to take technology away and have them do an hour, half an hour math, half an hour of reading and then they can go to the computer and play,” said Little.
Frankie Orndorf said he’s not a big fan of that idea, but understands why it’s a good thing.
“I would rather be outside with my friends, but it helps a lot,” he said.