Editorial: Bolster summer learning

Published 8:50 pm Friday, June 14, 2024

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Schools may be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean that learning has to come to a screeching halt.

There are many opportunities for continued growth for our children this summer, and we hope you take advantage of the activities.

Whether it’s joining in on the Albert Lea Public Library’s summer reading program, picking up books to read, enrolling in a Community Education course, trying out an experiential learning opportunity at the Brookside Boathouse or joining in on the opportunities offered through the Albert Lea Recreation Department, summer is not the time to sit idly by. It’s a time for expansion of the mind, whether it be in the traditional sense or through new experiences.

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Taking part in these things will help your child avoid what educators refer to as the summer slide, a phenomenon where students lose academic skills and physical fitness over the summer.

According to the Minnesota Department of Education, students on average can lose two months of reading and 2.6 months of math skills each summer. Students also gain unhealthy weight up to three times faster during the summer months.

The department states families who use the summer to explore parks, visit museums, tackle creative projects or go to camp are less likely to suffer the effects of the summer slide.

We remind parents, grandparents and other caregivers to remember that you don’t have to go to a formal setting like a school to learn.

In fact, summer is a great time to help children learn to be creative or to experience through nature.

Not all learning has to be done with pencil and paper in hand. There are many places in our community to learn, including in your own home.