Summer Learning at Bottom of Parents’ List for Summer Activities

Summer Learning at Bottom of Parents’ List for Summer Activities

 Avoid Summer Brain Drain and Keep Children’s Brains Active with help and advice from the experts at Oxford Learning

While many families are excited for summer’s arrival and the break from school, experts warn that an absence of academic activities in the summer can be detrimental to students’ learning momentum.

A national survey recently conducted by Léger Marketing for Oxford Learning, Canada’s leader in supplementary education, reveals that academic work is the LEAST likely summer activity children will take part in this summer:

#1        Travel and/or family vacation (67%)
#2        Social and leisure time (64%)
#3        Activities and hobbies (60%)
#4        Camps and new experiences (37%)
#5        Academic work (13%)

“Summer learning loss is a huge problem as so many students lose hard-earned knowledge and learning skills over the summer break,” says Dr. Nick Whitehead, Co-founder and President, Oxford Learning. “Setting your child up for academic success can be as easy as dedicating a few hours a week to learning activities designed to reinforce vital reading and math skills.”

Parents Not Making the Grade in Helping to Keep Students Brains in Shape

Anyone involved in athletics knows that you can’t take three months off training and still be in top form, but rather you need to continually train to maintain optimal performance.  The brain is just like a muscle: if you don’t continually use it, you risk losing a significant amount of valuable learning, making it hard to gear back up for success.

When Canadian parents were asked which of the summer activities are most important—academic work was NOT a priority!

# 1         Activities and hobbies (95%)
# 2         Social and leisure time (95%)
# 3         Travel and/or family vacation (92%)
# 4         Camps and new experiences (76%)
# 5         Academic work (56%)

“Just like family vacation and summer camps that parents have scheduled for the summer months, you need to also develop a well-balanced plan that integrates these activities including your child’s education this summer,” says Dr. Whitehead.  “Parents can make this summer an opportunity to advance their children’s potential.  Keep summer learning simple, fun and stimulating with a little bit of academic preparation that will go a long way towards making the coming school year the best ever.”

 Tips for Parents: How to Prevent Summer Slide for Your Child

Parents can take an active role in helping students prevent the academic summer slide by encouraging them to observe and practice reading and math in day-to-day activities.  What can you do to keep your student’s brain active this summer? Here are some tips from Oxford Learning’s educational experts:

  • Encourage your children to keep reading! Reading continually improves comprehension skills and develops vocabulary.  Get kids their own library card and go to the library every weekend so they can pick their own reading material or give them a digital literacy boost with e-Readers for kids!
  • Summer movies can also help reel in unwilling readers.  A summer release may draw children into reading the book series.
  • Give your child a journal or scrapbook and encourage them to write. Tech savvy kids can create and update their own blog.
  • Add in a daily measure of math!  Calculate the road trip.  Plan the details for the family vacation such as determining the kilometres of the road trip, estimated time of arrival and the amount of gas required.  Compare prices at the grocery store or bake together and have your little chef do the measurements for each ingredient.
  • Limit screen time. Balance media consumption with reading time. Books are recreations as much as video games, surfing the Internet, or watching TV.  Variety and balance is key!
  • Play games such as Sudoku or crossword puzzles.  Any game with strategy and planning is great to keep the mind working. Find ways to challenge their mind!
  • Discuss things with your kids. If you watch a movie, talk about it.  If you go for a walk, talk about what you see. Conversation helps keep the mind active and engaged.
  • Enroll your child in a class at Oxford Learning.  With flexible schedules and lots of options, there’s something for everyone.

“Summer learning should not be separate from summer fun.  Daily activities can be enjoyable while still adding educational value to a student’s summer,” says Dr. Whitehead. “The secret to successful summer learning is knowing how to harness the learning opportunities that are happening all around us and turning them into valuable, useable summer learning that challenges the brain.”

Summer Learning that is Fun!

The experts at Oxford Learning—Canada’s leader in preparing children for lifelong success—have developed a unique and enjoyable approach to summer learning that will help children of all ages.

With more than 120 locations across Canada and programs suitable for children from preschool to high school, Oxford Learning Summer Camp Programs help ensure that students of all ages spend class time exploring, discovering, creating and learning. Summer programs give young students the opportunity to get used to the structure they will encounter in the classroom and high school students prepare for the fast-paced curriculum of a new grade level.

“Oxford Learning’s summer programs cover the academic areas where attention is needed, while developing the thinking and organizational skills that help students get ahead and stay ahead,” says Dr. Whitehead.  “Luckily, only a few hours a week can help prevent learning loss. Day or evening, once a week or every day, Oxford Learning’s Summer Camp Programs offer flexible hours that work with your child’s summer time schedule.”

About Oxford Learning

Established in 1984, Oxford Learning has grown to include more than 120 learning centres across Canada and the United States.  Oxford Learning goes beyond tutoring to help students reach their learning potential, not just for one grade or one year, but for a lifetime.  Oxford Learning’s unique programs teach children to learn how to learn.  Just a few hours a week can make a world of difference in developing the right skills and habits to succeed. No matter what the subject or grade level, Oxford Learning breaks the cycle of hiring tutors year after year.  Oxford Learning’s proprietary Dynamic Diagnostic Assessment™ allows Oxford Learning staff to get to know each child, from academic standing to skill gaps and learning potential.  With the goal of improved grades, motivation, and confidence for any child, Oxford Learning offers three core programs: Little Readers®, for children ages 3 to 6; Beyond Tutoring® for those in grades 1 to 8; Advantage High School Success™ for kids in grades 9 to 12.

Check out Oxford Learning at or call your local Oxford Learning centre for more details.

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** From May 14-17, 2012, Leger Marketing conducted an online survey among 445 randomly selected Canadians who have children aged 6-18 years old. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/-2.5%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure samples are representative of the Canadian adult population.