Bloomberg.com recently ran an article boldly titled “How Summer is Making U.S. Kids Dumber and Fatter.”
According to the author, students’ academic skills atrophy during the summer months by an amount equivalent to what they learn in a third of a school year. What’s more, they gain weight two to three times faster in the summer than they do during the school year.
That means students are in for a rough transition when they head back to school in the fall.
Enrolling in summer school can help reduce the academic deficiency, but what kid really wants to spend their summer in a classroom?
That’s why some schools have developed an alternative.
One of Manhattan’s newest Firm Schools, Fusion Academy, believes that summer school shouldn’t feel like a punishment. Their one-to-one summer classes that keep middle and high schoolers thinking, but integrate their interests to keep it fun. For instance, if an English class is necessary, students can pick something they’re interested in to write about instead of the same old “400 words about your summer vacation.” And in French, they get to talk about topics that are actually important to them—like the history behind the musical Les Misérables.
Plus, with brightly-colored walls, comfy furniture and trendy décor, students might not even realize they’re actually at a school.
But regardless of which route you take to help prevent summer learning loss, just remember to do everything in moderation. Because while school is important, so is having time to just be a kid.