With school summer holidays fast approaching in many countries, you may be considering how best to occupy your children over the break. A long period free from school might seem like a dream for many children, but without the structure that school offers, they can quickly find themselves kicking their heels. For parents, school summer holidays often raise concerns about learning loss over the long break. There is also the practical challenge of coupling careers and childcare. For some families, the solution is to engage a personal tutor. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to consider a private tutor for your children this summer:
Preventing summer learning loss
For decades educational researchers have examined evidence for a ‘summer slide’ when educational attainment drops after the long holiday. Study findings have often been contested on the grounds that sample sizes are too small. In a bid to overcome this, a 2019 study looked at data for 3.4 million students in the US, and it produced some surprising results. Students who made the greatest gains during the previous school year were the ones who made the greatest loss in learning over the summer break. If your son or daughter has worked hard to achieve their end of year grades, then research suggests they’re most at risk of sliding backwards over the summer. This is most pronounced in maths, followed closely by literacy.
Particularly in a year when students have had limited in-person teaching due to Covid-19 restrictions, a long summer break has the potential to further exacerbate loss of learning. The good news is that targeted interventions – such as help from a personal tutor – have been shown to help counter the loss of learning that may otherwise occur over the summer. Moreover, for children who have struggled with a lack of structure during successive lockdowns, having regular tuition throughout the holidays will help to order both their study and their play. Free time will become more meaningful and is more likely to be more constructively filled.
Targeted teaching and learning
Maths and literacy are the subjects most commonly flagged as needing attention over the summer, but they don’t have to be the only subjects to consider. Targeted teaching of any subject offers the opportunity to focus on a particular area without the competing demands of other classes. For secondary-age pupils needing to re-sit exams in the autumn term, summer tuition offers a chance to help students really get to grips with challenging subjects before they return to new courses and social distractions. Many students underestimate the competing pressures of continuing post-16 studies while also trying to revise for resits. As a consequence, both their new courses and their resit subjects suffer. Summer tuition offers a chance to significantly reduce the strain they might otherwise face when returning to school in the autumn.
Some students are committed to becoming the best in their field, whether this is a particular sport, a musical instrument or an extracurricular activity. For these students, the summer holiday offers an opportunity to focus on their specialism. A private tutor can provide a bespoke programme to really help them excel without the competing demands of term-time schooling. One-to-one tuition doesn’t just have to take place in the home – the summer break is a great time to travel, to see experts perform, and to meet other young people who excel in the same field.
Opportunities for more diverse study
Summer tuition doesn’t have to be all hard work. If you want to keep your children engaged over the summer, there are plenty of ways that tutors can help students to develop academically while still having fun. Project-based learning such as planning and making a film, or designing and building a racing cart, draw on a wide range of skills while providing children with the motivation of an exciting end goal. If you’re likely to be travelling as a family over the summer, a change of location can be a fantastic opportunity to learn in situ, using local geography, history and culture to spark an interest in topics that might otherwise seem abstract and remote. Equally, the summer holiday can be an opportunity for children to master a skill such as photography or web design that gets less teaching time than core subjects within schools.
These are just some of the reasons why many families choose to engage a private tutor over the summer. If this is something you’re considering for your children, Beacon Education can help you find the perfect match. Contact us to find out more.