Parents fear ‘learning loss’ over summer break – Amazon

A YouGov poll for Amazon found that free online aids were easily the most popular option for ensuring a child’s learning stayed on track

More than a quarter of parents worry that their child’s learning levels will regress over the summer break, according to an Amazon study.

Twenty-six percent of respondents voiced such concerns in a survey of 1,000 parents conducted by YouGov for Amazon.

The tech giant went on to imply that parents’ worries may be justified by citing research indicating that the summer break can set children’s learning back by up to a month.

Maths was the subject found to be hardest hit by the long holiday, along with spelling.

While the research is nothing if not comprehensive – it reviewed 39 studies, including meta-analysis of the 13 then-most recent – it is important to note that it dates from the almost-exclusively analogue world of 1996.

Today, the picture is radically different, with a welter of options for home-based online learning to help keep each child’s knowledge reservoir topped up.

Which, obviously, was Amazon’s reason for commissioning the YouGov poll: a handle on which to hang promotion of Amazon Study, its range of free curriculum-linked maths and science resources to support children’s learning.

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The sector extends far beyond simply Amazon, of course, but before returning to that, let’s note that the tech giant’s survey helps explain the growth in the market.

Firstly, YouGov found that free online aids were, by a distance, parents’ most popular option for ensuring a child’s learning stayed on track.

Thirty-five percent of respondents said it was their preferred method, significantly outranking private tutors and catch-up classes (both scored 11%) by over three times.

Approaching half (42%) of parents also said that changed teaching methods from their own schooldays were a major hurdle to helping their children with learning, a fear that turning to online resources could help alleviate.

When it comes to other options for learning top-ups, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt maintains a hub with free teaching resources for K-12 students, including fun classroom activities, lessons, download-ables and videos across languages, arts, math, science, social studies, and history.

You’ll find further K-12-related help via Imagine Learning and Savvas, or you could check out this list of eight educational apps and websites that our sister magazine, Education Technology, compiled as lockdown neared its first year.

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