The ‘summer slide’ is an unfortunate problem for students, where being outside of school or college for a few months means that they start to lose important skills. This can be a particular problem for younger children, who then have to work harder to catch up on their basic skills when they return to school in the autumn. More and more parents are investing in private tutors in the summer to prevent this problem; keeping academic standards high outside of term time is also a priority for independent schools and institutions like Lansdowne College, and is particularly important if students have exams coming up.
Parents are particularly becoming worried about how even a few months out of school can damage their children’s progress; tutors can help to cover this gap by providing a few sessions to boost academic ability and encourage more reading and awareness of courses and the basics of their subjects. This is particularly important if someone has been having trouble catching up with work during the school year.
Around 27 per cent of parents now draw on private tutors during the six week summer holidays, and focus on getting children back up to speed on particular subjects. Reports indicate that children tend to suffer the most from a summer slide in mathematics, meaning that they end up going back to school with even more work to do. In the future, we might see a reduction of the school summer holiday to combat this problem, but for the time being, extra tuition offers one solution. Tutors are skilled and they have enough experience in this field. Thereby, they are the right people to assist your child. You don’t have to worry anymore about how your child will fare in the tests as you can totally rely on them.
What kinds of approaches can private tutors offer? These can range from refreshing basics like times tables and literacy for young children, through to helping older students to review the kind of work they’ve done over the past year in preparation for exams. It’s important, though, to not overwhelm children with information – after all, they need a summer break – but to use some of the down time created during the summer in a productive way.
There are also many opportunities for parents to boost children’s academic potential by keeping them intellectually and creatively engaged during the summer; this might involve going through phonics and basic maths with younger children, or just investing in plenty of reading material. Making regular trips to museums can similarly work well in terms of keeping children’s brains focused during this time.
To get the most out of tutoring as a way of preventing a summer slide, it’s important to look into what options are available in your local area. Speak to other parents, and discuss an appropriate level of coverage with tutors so that you’re not going overboard with lessons. Trying out a few brief sessions can give you and your child a better indication as to whether private tuition will actually be helpful in the long run.
Sophie Wiggins is a parent of two teenagers and a blogger on education. To learn more about extra tuition and specialist courses, she recommends visiting Lansdowne College. She also writes blogs on cookery and travel.