McCombset al (2011) study reported proof that summer programs are beneficialin preventing summer learning loss. The authors recommended summerlearning programs to be taken seriously since they are effective inreducing the achievement gap. Summer programs are made up of smallclasses in which students are encouraged to attend regularly (McCombset al, 2011). Summer programs offer individualized instruction andprovide a combination of enrichment and academic activities (McCombset al, 2011). Researchers likewise suggest that even though currentstudy is accessible on how various summer programs can impactacademic performance, there has not been sufficient focus on resultssuch as attitudes and behavior, social skills, and future plans whichare also significant goals.
Thethree year study conducted by Carran and Flore (2010) explored theimpacts that summer learning programs in public libraries had on thelearner’s achievement. The study involved students from small andlarge communities in urban, suburban, and rural areas during thesummer. The main focus of the study was on low-income families(Carran and Flore, 2010). Researchers postulated that studentsinvolved in the summer reading programs demonstrated greater readingachievement compared to students who did not take active involvement(Carran and Flore, 2010).
Everyyear, students in the United States attend school for approximately180 days. Studies indicate that during this period a remarkableprogress along the course of learning and growth in terms of skillsand knowledge is achieved (Smith, 2012). Other studies prior to thishave given contradicting results on the impact of summer homework inreducing learning loss. For example, some studies have indicatedvarying rates of the academic achievements at the end of summer dueto summer homework (Dantis and Slattery, 2011)
Researchhas noted that parental involvement tends to decline at all levels ofeducation (Epstein, et al. 2002). The research has put forth severalconclusions as to why this might be the case. Firstly, the lack ofcurriculum knowhow among parents of learners in higher grades.Secondly, some young learners prefer less involvement of theirparents in their education. Thirdly, some parents choose to pursuetheir career goals after their children have gained someindependence. The research also noted that lack of knowledge byteachers on how to effectively engage the parents in the educationalmatters of their children. The same research also noted that theeconomic strength of the family is also a critical factor when itcomes to parent’s involvement in their children’s education. Theresearch noted that rich parents are actively involved with theeducation of their children at all levels and the vice versa foreconomically strained parents.
Astudy of Teacher Involve Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS) programindicated 65% involvement of family members in homework assignmentsfor TIPS year 1 and 88 % involvement of family members in homeworkassignments for TIPS year 2 (Van Voorhis, 2011).
Nonetheless,Van Voorhis (2011) opposed this suggestion through a study whichindicated that variations in students and parents` attitudes towardhomework and its effects on the student’s achievements relate tofactors other than time. This means that summer packets should bedesigned in a manner that takes care of academic and non-academicinterests of children.
Ina study by Celano and Neuman (2009), it was found that children fromlow and middle income families make use of computers and librarybooks differently. Even though the researchers found that both groupsof children utilized public libraries almost all the time, childrenbelonging to well-off families were exposed to more books and made ofmore educational computer applications as well as obtained moresupport from adults. The findings also suggested an unequalutilization of informal resources which may result to a broadening ofknowledge gap between low and middle income families. Students fromlow income families’ experience an average loss in readingperformances over the summer since they have a limited access tobooks at home (Ready, 2010). Over the summer vacation, students loseabout 2.6 months score level equivalency in mathematics (Ready,2010).
Dependingon the data available, the research should seek to establish the mosteffective common grounds between the opposing sides to ensure thatstudents’ interests, as well as the rest of the parties, areaddressed. This approach would seek to establish comprehensive summerprograms, which encompass educative activities that are laden withfun for children such as scientific exploration, role-playing, andmathematical concept building. This will help the students developtheir logic and social skills.
Summerlearning loss is a controversial issue, which concerns three partiesnamely educators, students, and parents. Summerlearning programs are some of the ways to help educators solve theproblem of today’s education including the increasing number ofdrop-outs in high school. Drop-out students are those that possiblybecome unemployable because they do not have the necessary skills tofulfill and perform the jobs in today’s economy. The students thatdrop out of high school have increased chances of being incarcerated,received public assistance, head single-parent households, and havemore children at a younger age. The information from this study willbe used to make recommendations to the high school administration andboard of education to address the effect of participation inschool-sponsored extracurricular activities to decrease the drop-outrate. Animplication for positive social change would include changes thatwill keep students interested, connected, and involved in schoolthereby strengthening individual student development and preparingthem to be productive member of society. Hence, to make full use ofthe youths’ developments, a middle school summer learning programis essential. This does not only hone their cognitive skills but alsotheir social skills. Thesummer packets will balance between educational achievements as wellas social and physical development.