The article was published in the June 2013 Colonial Crier.
Vacations are important and though there are great benefits to taking a break from the rigors of the academic school year, students can lose aptitude if they fail to use their knowledge over the summer. The average American student has two and a half months of grade level equivalency loss in mathematics and up to two months of loss in reading achievement over summer vacation. However, both math and reading summer learning loss can be easily avoided.
1. Read Something Every Day The Fairfax Christian School requires summer reading for our students. Our required reading lists may not fill your child’s entire summer, but it will help any child maintain and increase their reading levels over the summer months. With the internet and iPads, there are unlimited resources, many of which are free to download.
2. Mathematics There’s an app for that. Visit the iTunes Store and download mathematics games for the iPad. There are dozens of mathematics games which can be downloaded and which will drill everything from basic addition to calculus equations. Many of these apps are free.
3. Camps Fairfax Christian School hosts the Real American Manners Camps at our school at the end of June. This is a great opportunity to perfect table manners, letter writing and general etiquette skills.
Fairfax Christian School’s USACompete holds American Culture Camps during the month of July for international students. USACompete also holds an Intensive English Institute during the month of August for middle and high school students.
The YMCA also offers summer camps at the Fairfax Christian School for students age 5 to 12.
Hidden Creek Country Club offers golf camps which are open to non-members.
Contact the school office for more information on any of these activities.
4. Explore Summer is a great time to take a trip. You don’t need to climb the Great Wall or the Eiffel Tower to have an educational adventure. Nearby, there is George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Great Falls National Park, Old Town Alexandria, Luray Caverns and unlimited things to see in Washington, D.C. Take some time to explore the monuments, museums and natural wonders in the area.
5. Volunteer New environments stimulate learning and deepen understanding of our culture and community. Volunteering in the community allows students to explore occupations and to meet new people.
High school students are required to have ten community service hours each year. They can do these hours in the summertime and apply them to the following school year.