Senate Report: Summer Learning

Now that we’ve reached the hot days of summer many of our kids are thoroughly enjoying a break from getting up early for school and homework. While this is great for both parents and kids, it can come with a price. Unfortunately, the lack of academic activity during the summer can lead to what many refer to as the summer slide or summer brain drain.
Summertime can lead to kids losing two to three months of math and reading skills. This leads to teachers re-teaching the previous year’s lessons at the start of the school year. Summer brain drain affects students of all backgrounds, but summer learning loss takes the greatest toll on economically disadvantaged children.
While kids benefit from a little rest and relaxation during the summer, it’s also important to keep the academic momentum of the previous school year going. You can prevent summer learning loss by creating opportunities to use critical thinking skills in ordinary moments. For instance, if your family is traveling this summer, involve the kids in planning the trip. Kids can learn a lot from helping research the area that you will be traveling, budgeting, and mapping out your trip. This will provide real world lessons in math, history, and geography.
In addition, summer is a great opportunity to devote extra attention to areas where your kids may struggle. Encourage them to look into topics they are passionate about. Have them choose a subject they want to learn more about, or a new skill they want to work on, and make it a summer project. Libraries often offer summer reading programs, which can be a great way to motivate kids to read. If you’re not sure what they should read find out what books are planned for the next school year.
Kids don’t have to lose what they’ve learned over the summer. In fact, you can encourage your child to have a summer of fun and learning. I encourage you to challenge yourself this summer by ensuring that your kids will return to school in the fall without having lost academic ground.
As with all matters concerning state government, I want to hear your opinions and suggestions concerning these issues. Please contact me in my Columbia office located at 608 Gressette Office Building. You can reach me, or a member of my staff in Columbia at (803) 212-6000 or by fax at (803) 212-6011. My district office is located at 2523 East Highway 76, Marion, SC 29571, the phone number is (843) 423-8237 and the fax number is (843) 431-6049. You may also email me at [email protected]
As always, I also want to supply you with my business phone number so that you will able to reach me easily at any time. My business phone is (843) 423-3904. Please use this information to write, call or email me with your suggestions and concerns regarding issues before the Senate and in our community.