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Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Summer learning loss

Life Lessons Summer learning loss

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - What are you kids doing this summer? Will they be doing any school work?

Should they?

Most teachers will tell you that they spend some time in the beginning of the school year teaching kids things they forgot over the summer.

So for parents, the question is: Should your kids do school work to stay on track, to get ahead or even to fix a problem from the previous school year? Many parents will answer that question differently.

Kathleen Kelly of Quakertown answers this way:"It's very important. We don't ever stop, not on breaks or over the summer. We keep those skills current."

That means school work doesn't end for summer vacation for Kathleen's 12 year old daughter Mya.

A couple of summers ago, Mya's mom went to Huntington Learning Center in Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, to address some academic problems Mya was having.

She discovered Mya has a language processing disorder.

She says Mya was very frustrated in school and if she hadn't taken the time to catch Mya up over that summer, she wouldn't have been able to find Mya's area of difficulty.

"With children being in elementary school and even in high school, if they're not confident and they're not successful, it really damages their self esteem and once they feel they can't succeed in school, it's kind of a downward spiral," says Kathleen.

Parents can be mixed about how much school work kids should do over the summer.

Some say kids should get a break and enjoy summer fun.

But educators, like those at Huntington, say summer can be a great opportunity for academic growth.

"We find that by keeping up with their academics, it's really going to give them the best opportunities when they start next year. There's so much lost through the summer months," says Paula Sandillo, the center director for Huntington Learning Center in Bethlehem.

Whatever you choose for your kids this summer, educators say it's a good idea to sneak in some learning.

You might want to start a family book club, or even engage kids in planning and researching summer activities, making grocery lists or balancing the checkbook.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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