With the school year at an end, and as students prepare for long summer days without having to worry about schoolwork, I'm reminded of the old English proverb — "idle hands are the devil's tools." Without school, many adolescents will be left alone to fill their days, and as a veteran educator, I'm concerned that those days will not be filled constructively with activities that challenge the mind and stimulate intellectual development.
Research indicates that most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in math over the summer. For low-income students, more than two months in reading aptitude are lost from the end of the school year to the beginning of the next. As a result, schools must spend weeks reviewing lessons that were taught the previous school year. This is a tremendous waste of resources. Thus, as the world flattens and job competition gets even tougher, parents must be vigilant in ensuring students continue to learn during the summer months.