For eight-year-old Hanhan, a Chinese girl in Shandong province, summer break is not a time for rest and fun, but just another series of learning activities.
Dancing, piano and English are among the 11 courses Hanhan’s mother chose to fill her daughter’s summer time with, from early July to late August.“These courses can help Hanhan make progress – both morally and academically – and they have made her summer break a meaningful one,” the mother, who declined to be named.But Hanhan did not appreciate her mother’s efforts and said she found it tiring.
“I have to take one to two courses every day,” she told the website. “I have no time to relax. I don’t want to have a summer break because it’s even more tiring than going to school.”
Summer courses could also be contributing to the wealth gap, according to a study carried out by researchers in Baltimore cited in The Economist last week.The report noted that many children forgot much of what they were taught the year before over the long summer break. Those from poorer families tended to be worst affected, while children from wealthier homes were more likely to attend summer courses.
I’m not sure that particular “summer melt” research is applicable here.
I’m not aware of an study that compares fairly high-achieving students who load up on academics in summertime with a control group of similar students – and then researchers examine “how much they forgot” from the previous year.