Kids lose out from long summer holidays, new research shows
Lower-income parents have a particularly tough time supporting their children through months off school
Kids forget more than a quarter of what they learned at school over the summer, new research shows - and poorer kids are most likely to lose out from long breaks.
What it means: Think you'd still remember the tricks of your trade after a three month break? Think you would if you had the mind of a 7 year old? Probably not.
Studies show children lose so much of what they've learnt over long summer holidays that in one case study in Malawi, the gains from a US-funding literacy programme were basically all wiped out over one summer where the kids forgot everything they learned.
It's considerably worse for kids from low-income families, the Economist points out. Wealthy parents pay for private tuition, summer camp, and trips abroad which continue to stimulate the child, keep them reading and their minds active. Meanwhile, parents on low-incomes struggle to replace the supervision, meals, and activities provided by school during term time, spending an average of £133 on childcare throughout the summer.
Some suggest extending school years, or splitting the summer break out across the year. Alternatively, more state-provided holiday activities would mean low-income families weren't at such a disadvantage when it came to keeping children's minds active.