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Summer time = Learning Time

Summer learning loss, the phenomenon where young people lose academic skills over the summer. Ask any successful person, business owner, athlete, professor, etc., when do you stop learning? The answer is never! So why do we automatically look at the summer as a time to turn off the learning switch? It is mostly because this is how we have been programmed and this is what we’re used to.

Now not all kids stop learning over the summer and I’ll bet their teachers know exactly who they are. They are the high achievers and students who are at or near the top of their class. They are the kids who don’t say “I can’t” or “That’s too hard”. They are more prepared when school starts back up. Does this mean that you are going to get straight A’s? No, but it is surely going to give you a better opportunity to do so.

Many parents keep their kids active through summer camps and different things which is great and very beneficial. Usually these camps are a couple of weeks out of the summer and provide a lot of value. But do they only go to school for a couple of weeks and then take a break for most of the school year, NO! If your desire is to have your children do better in school, summer shouldn’t be any different. They need to keep learning and keep in a rhythm throughout the summer. But make it fun and make it interesting. It doesn’t have to be exactly like school but it does have to be about learning and keeping their minds and bodies active.

Just think about how much learning opportunities are lost over a 2.5 month period during summer break, then add that up to 12 or 13 years of their school career. That’s about like missing 3 years of education, 3 YEARS! Not such a big deal if you're 80 but if you're 18 that is almost a quarter of your life. What a huge opportunity missed!

What else happens when we stop learning over the summer? Well once you stop doing anything it is hard to get back to up to speed to where you left off. So now our kids spend the first couple of months of school trying to get back up to speed where they left off of the previous year. And not only that, they are learning new and more difficult curriculum, which can make the learning curve even more steep and trying.

Summer is an opportunity for families to bond and learn. Vacations are a great time to do all of these things. Summer doesn’t have to be like learning at school and it shouldn’t, it should be fun, but keep your kids active in learning and active doing different things.

This summer we at Sylvania Family Karate are challenging our students with the Summer of Learning. We will be sending out some information for our families to help their kids learn throughout the summer but here are some ideas on how to do this.

- Keep your child and youth’s activities hands-on and interesting. The activities don’t need to belong to specific classroom subjects. They should keep your child engaged and active.
- Find times to connect what your child has learned in school to everyday activities. Use these activities as a place to start discussions and to ask questions. Ask questions that need more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Think about doing this at a meal or bed time.
- Reduce the amount of time your child spends playing video games, watching television alone, using the computer, or even using a cell phone. Encourage some screen time on educational sites or activities.
- Make sure your child is staying physically active and eating nutritious food.

Make this summer different for you and your children. Let them enjoy the summer but make sure they are also keeping their minds sharp and their bodies active. The internet is a vast resource of knowledge and things that you can do with your kids. Don’t let them miss 2.5 months of learning this year. You will find that it was well worth it when they get back to school next fall.

Remember, successful people never stop learning…EVER!

Yours for Amazing and Successful Kids,

Sensei Randy



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