Turning Summer Reading Loss into Learning Gain
In summer, the hot weather gets to all of us. Nobody likes to spend their time indoors. Many people prefer to relax in swimming pools or go down to the beach. Students like to do the same. They want to stay stuck at study tables going through the homework or reading. Students become carefree and do whatever they please. Parents also tend to be lenient on them. They don't hound them about studies. Everyone wants to be free in summer.
But little do we know about the consequences. Many students end up losing their skills and knowledge. They forget what they had learnt. It does not go down well with teachers who had spent so much time in trying to relay the concept and theory. They have to work all over again! Experts say this is normal. In summer, students tend to go into a slump. Researchers have termed this as summer brain drain! Maybe, it's because of the heat or the holiday like atmosphere. Students look up to the summer vacations once the schools announce it. They start planning with their parents. Even though schools offer tuitions and remedial work, students hardly take it up. They prefer to go on ice-cream outings, skateboarding, swimming and summer parties.
Impact on Students
Researchers say that the slump can have a drastic effect on the overall students' performance if they don't make up for it. Once the summer holidays are over, students should get back to their books. They should go through what they had learnt in school to refresh their memory. If they have difficulty in understanding a concept, they should note it down and seek help from the teacher. Researchers have observed that students have problems in mathematics after they return from holidays. It may be because they haven't solved any problem for a while. Teachers need to brush quickly through with what students have forgotten. They also have to catch up with the syllabus and be ready for the exams. To improve their grades, students should take advantage of extra classes and tutorials. Parents should also try to help the teachers by encouraging children to enrol in summer classes. They can motivate them by saying that it's an excellent opportunity to make more friends!
To get students to go through their books in summer, teachers need to target the students' interests. They can set time for the students to engage and they should ask the parents to pitch in. Getting a student to read in summer requires a team effort. Parents can contribute by turning the television volume to really low and asking the children to caption whatever the actors are saying. It can be very much fun and a learning experience at the same time. Teachers can ask the students to make a diary entry of every day of summer or do a blog. It will get the attention. Schools can organise clean-up campaigns or community services whereby all the students can participate.
Some gifted students don't have any problem catching up with the work they had left behind. There are some who have difficulty. They feel stressed out, burdened with work and pressurised to perform. With the help of peers and friends, catching up can be a breeze. Students will enjoy it and made it fun. Teachers can give the reading list again. They should explain to students that reading has several benefits. It helps expand their vocabulary, it helps them concentrate, develops memory and helps them get better results in exams. Students can engage themselves in reading through creative means. They can set up small groups, and everyone gets a paragraph to read aloud. It builds their voice and confidence. Students won't feel shy. They can also read it themselves and enact it into play. It will get all the students involved. Teachers should make the students aware about the library. They can explain how the books are arranged, what method has been used and why. And explain why everyone needs to be silent in the library. Students will find it intriguing and they will use the library for research and assignment purposes. Teachers can suggest some interesting literature or novels for students. Then they can be asked to write a review of it. They should keep in mind that the subject matter of the novel captivates and holds the students from the beginning to the end. Then will the students response effectively.