It must be June, because I’ve been seeing the signs all over the place: STOP SUMMER LEARNING LOSS!
But guess what--I don’t believe in summer learning loss.
I don’t believe the phrase even existed when I was a child.
I don’t believe it is a new epidemic so much as another invented phenomena designed to frighten parents and get them to spend their money on tutoring programs.
And I really don’t believe my children stop learning over the summer.
I don’t believe that spending time with their siblings, parents, cousins, elders and neighbors is harmful to their social skills.
I don’t believe that picking, divvying and devouring buckets full of raspberries or selling lemonade causes them to lose math aptitude.
I don’t believe drawing with chalk on the driveway or “painting” with water on the hot deck could harm their artistic capabilities.
I don’t believe that long lazy afternoons re-reading favorite novels in the hammock could possibly be detrimental to their reading comprehension capabilities.
I don’t believe daily swims or bike rides are damaging to their athletic abilities.
I don’t believe attending free concerts in the park or creating their own rock or marching bands could lessen their appreciation of music.
I don’t believe creating original theatrical works to perform for friends and neighbors could ever be damaging to their writing prowess.
I don’t believe finding deer skeletons in the woods, capturing tadpoles or raising caterpillars and releasing butterflies could possibly be detrimental to their mastery of science.
I don’t believe staying up too late making campfires and catching fireflies could ever in any way detract from my kids’ childhood memories. I think there are lessons learned from these experiences that they could never learn in a classroom.
School may have ended yesterday but for my kids, the learning has not.