According to the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), unstructured summers without learning opportunities can cause your children to fall behind in school, gain weight and miss out on college opportunities. Here's why it's so important to keep your kids active and engaged during the summer months.
While children who spend their summers learning and developing new skills come back to school with a clear advantage, those who don't often suffer what's known as the "summer slide." They tend to lose up to 2 months of math skills and 2 to 3 months of reading skills every summer, leaving them behind when school starts up again.
The "summer slide" in elementary school makes a critical impact, as the cumulative effect can leave these students 2.5 to 3 years behind their peers by the time they reach the 5th grade. Once children start to fall significantly behind in school, their chances of graduating from high school and going to college decrease significantly.
Health Implications of an Unstructured Summer
While the words "summer vacation" may make you think of kids swimming, climbing trees and playing outdoors, the reality is many kids with nothing to do spend their days on the couch watching television, playing video games and eating unhealthy snacks. The obesity rate among children is growing, and kids without structured summer plans are even more likely to gain weight and develop unhealthy eating habits.
Missed College Opportunities
If your child has graduated from high school and been accepted to college, you might think the hard work is done. However, another phenomenon, known as the "summer melt" shows many high school graduates who don't have a structured summer fail to enroll in college in the fall, even after being accepted.
Keep Your Children Active at the Y!
If these facts make you cringe, you're not alone. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to create structured learning opportunities for your children without spending a fortune. The YMCA of Southern Nevada offers fun summer camps for kids, as well as a wide variety of youth activities, classes, and sports.
Want to keep your older child active during the summer months? Sign them up for a lifeguard certification course or encourage them to stay fit and healthy by attending group fitness classes. A membership at the Y is the perfect way to keep the entire family engaged and feeling great all summer long. Contact us today or stop any of our locations to learn more!