Students of all ages benefit from taking the time to practice before heading out on their summer vacation. Here are some ways in which you can make your vacation experience a better one:
Student Performance Scores
Student Performance Scores Declined by One Month of School-Year Learning. Scores Declined by 3 Months of High School; Scores Declined by 1 Month of College-Level Learning: A study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that students who took summer vacations and did not use the time to practice more frequently (such as taking an advanced college course) performed worse on college-level tests, even after adjusting for other factors such as test familiarity and the type, of course, the student took.
“Summer study courses,” the study states, “increase the time required to reach state examinations,” but, it adds, “the results were inconsistent across subjects.” Students who took a semester or less off from school did not do as well as those who took at least a full academic year off, even after adjusting for test familiarity. “The impact of summer vacation is greatest when students take longer than a semester off from school.”
Math Skills Declined by 1 Month of College-Level: Students who took summer courses and did not use them to improve their math skills did worse on college-level mathematics tests. The results were consistent across every subject except algebra.
Children’s memory Declined by Two Months of High School: A study by the American Psychological Association found that students who took summer courses and did not use them to improve their memory did worse on short-term memory tests than those who took longer vacation breaks. It was more likely for children with poor memory skills to have problems later on in school, such as getting lost or forgetting what they had learned in class.
Health Practices Declined by Two Months of High School: According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, students who used the summertime to improve their health practices did better in health class test scores. The study found that students who took the time to practice relaxation, physical activity, and dieting scored higher on health class test scores than those who didn’t. The study “came from the time spent practicing with a trained instructor rather than simply taking a refresher course.”
Students Practice Better, Tested Better, and Learn Better: According to the National Center for Education Statistics study, “The average percentage of student improvement over the summer break increased from 40% to nearly 60% during the first two weeks after the break.” The improvement was seen at all grade levels in math, reading and science, and even in health class. Improvement seemed to be largest in the first two weeks after summer vacation and at least at the end of the school year. The study says the increase in student improvement has continued since then.
Students who practice more during their summer break are more likely to earn good grades. They are also less likely to drop out of high school, more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to get into college and graduate from college, and more likely to get into a good college, more likely to succeed in their career, and more likely to have job success, according to research on students’ success in the workforce. Summer vacation time will allow students a chance to see what success looks like. Not all students need to experience all of this, but it will make their summer experience more positive and meaningful for some.
In summary, using summertime to practice makes it easier to succeed in high school. It increases students’ chances for improved grades in school, allowing them to feel more comfortable with themselves. And, lastly, it is a great way to spend a summer vacation with friends. If the study of your child’s health habits is important to you, take the time to help him or she prepare for summer.