Help your kids overcome summertime knowledge loss
It’s early July, and children don’t have a care in the world.
The last thing on their mind is the new school year just around the corner.
While many of our children have most likely taken time to do some reading, that is usually the extent of all education done during the dog days of summer. As parents, we also enjoy the break from carpools and homework. What many of us fail to realize, however, is that much of the information our children have learned disappears from the sieve that is their brains while they sit waterlogged in subdivision pools.
According to the National Summer Learning Association using data spanning 100 years, the average student loses two months of grade-level equivalency while away from the classroom. Based on this information, it is mid-October before students begin to learn new material each year.
Enter Khan Academy.
Khan Academy was created in 2006 by Salman “Sal” Khan. It offers “free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” This nonprofit organization has been backed by such entities as Google and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Through the use of videos and short exercises that entertain as well as educate, students of any age can learn math, science, grammar, history and even computer programming. There is also test prep for the SAT, MCAT and other college entrance exams.
Another great resource the website offers is an entire section on Common Core. I know I’m not the only one who cringes when he sees a question like “Jimmy went to the store with $2. He bought milk, bread and apples. How much did the potato salad cost?” Khan Academy helps break down the questions so you don’t have to worry about teaching your children the way you were taught and thus confusing them.
Khan Academy is free to use, and is built on the idea of a personalized experience where you learn at your own pace. Each “mission” leads to another, and the website will keep track of your progress. While this could be used to reinforce lessons during the entire school year, it is a great resource to use over the summer so that your child does not lose the information he or she learned during the last school year.
If used for even a half hour each day, this resource will keep your child’s mind stimulated, and you won’t have to spend hours going over multiplication tables at the dinner table in September.
There is also a free app that can be downloaded to smart phones and tablets. Khan Academy is a great way to help your child stay ahead in their academic career. Take advantage now and enjoy the success that comes from it this fall.
Talk to Victor
Victor Alfieri is an avid music fan who has three children with his wife, Stephanie. Connect at Facebook.com/VJAlfieri and @VictorWordkrpht.