Students Mindsets During Summer

Students Mindsets During Summer

Amanda Stahl, Reporter

Free from homework and quizzes, kids have plenty of time to play and relax their minds during summer vacation. Nonetheless, many parents experience some sort of struggle to keep their teenagers both active and healthy summer vacation. Excuses come to the youth’s mind as to why they choose not to be productive with all the free time they are given, but with all the daylight given, comes a plethora of activities to occupy teenagers time over the summer months to keep their bodies moving and their minds thinking.

According to the article written by Beth Arky, while teenagers are unable to duplicate the structure school provides, it helps to maintain the school year’s daily schedule, right down to mealtimes and bedtime, as much as possible. More than a hundred years of research confirms that, without ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills, young people fall behind on measures of academic achievement over the summer months. Most teenagers lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, teenagers spend about three hours per day in front of a screen watching television, surfing the Internet or playing video games during summer break. While high school students are sitting in class on school days, they are also walking to bus stops or to school and participating in physical education and after school activities many days of the week. It is recommended that teenager’s screen time be limited to no more than two hours per day, as time spent in front of a screen is time that could be spent engaging in physical activity instead, which increases brain flow and helps in learning new experiences daily for the real world ahead.

In addition, while teenagers are on summer vacation, many parents still continue to work on a year round calendar. This leads towards high school students taking on a higher level of responsibility preparing their own meals and snacks. To fill this need, many families may reach for fast food and convenience items to get meals on the table in a hurry. Thus can become a pattern that becomes unhealthy when teenagers are not being active to begin with. Teenagers who are overweight suffer associated negative consequences such as lower self-esteem, decreased social functioning and poorer academic performance. Gaining extra unintentional weight over the summer can lead to a slippery slope of decreased physical activity and resulting poorer health.

Americans cherish the notion of summer as a time of relaxation and fun, but it comes at a heavy cost to poor students and the schools that serve them. This fall, despite any progress made during the school year, millions of students in urban communities will come back to school further behind than they were last spring.