Oxford Learning

Oxford Learning

June 24, 2013 08:00 ET

Canadian Parents Missing the Mark on Summer Learning

Oxford Learning Launches Summer Reading Book Report Challenge to encourage Reading and Writing this Summer

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 24, 2013) -

Editors note: There are two photos associated with this press release.

A national survey conducted by Léger, The Research Intelligence Group for Oxford Learning, Canada's leading provider of supplemental education, shows that almost 65% of Canadian parents do not include any learning activities in their family's summer plans.

"The results of this survey reinforce that when it comes to summer learning, parents are not thinking long term - they are not considering what a summer without learning means to their child's academic performance next year, and that's a big problem," says Dr. Nick Whitehead, president of Oxford Learning. "Summer is a critical time for students. When they don't maintain their academic momentum over the summer months, they fall behind, and quite often, they don't catch up again."

That national survey also reveals that when Canadian parents were asked to rank which summer activities were the most important, academic work was not a priority.

  1. Spending time with family (36%)
  2. Relaxing (13%)
  3. Socializing (13%)
  4. Summer Camps (12%)
  5. Travelling (11%)
  6. Exercise (8%)
  7. Reading and Learning Activities (4%)

According to the education experts at Oxford Learning, if there is one thing that parents can do to help their children get better grades next fall, it's making sure they are reading this summer. "Reading is the simplest and most accessible summer activity that all families can engage in together," says Dr. Whitehead. "Not only is it a great way to spend time together as a family, it's the perfect way to stay sharp this summer and get ready for next year."

According to the survey results, Canadian parents listed family time as their number one summer activity. "We can't think of a better way to spend quality family time this summer than reading a book together," says Dr. Whitehead. "Not only does it bring the family together in a common purpose, it keeps the mind sharp and helps avoid the summer learning brain drain that is too common."

For the Love of Reading - The Summer Reading Challenge!

To empower and reward children for continuing to read over the summer break, Oxford Learning is launching the first annual Summer Reading Book Report Challenge.

"Strong reading skills are the foundation for all learning, both inside and outside the classroom," says Dr. Whitehead. "We want to encourage all Canadian students to read-and write-this summer and we hope that our Book Report Challenge will motivate families to place an emphasis on reading this summer."

All Canadian children in grades 1-12 are invited to read one of the books listed in the Summer Reading Book Report Challenge (below) and submit a brief (no more than 250 words) book report online. Entries will be accepted through the website oxfordlearning.com/summerreading. Visit the webpage for contest rules and regulations.

Grades 1-5 Grades 9-12
The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
Miss Nelson is Missing!, by Harry Allard
The Adventures of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Grades 6-8 French
Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle
Holes, by Louis Sachar
Doug l'aventurier chez les gorilles, by Marie-Nicole Marchand
En mai, fais ce qu'il te plait, by André Marois
Les Exploits d'un héros réticent (mais extrêmement séduisant), by Maureen Fergus

The challenge is open to all Canadian students in Grades 1 - 12 and judges will select 4 entries (one in each category) to win a $100 Chapters Gift Card. The Grand Prize winner will receive an iPad mini.

Tips for Parents: How to Prevent the Summer Slide for Your Child

Parents can take an active role in helping students prevent the academic summer slide by encouraging them to practice reading and writing every day. What can you do to keep your child's brain active this summer? Here are some tips from Oxford Learning's educational experts:

  • Encourage your children to keep reading! Reading continually improves comprehension skills and develops vocabulary. Get kids their own library card and go to the library every weekend so they can pick their own reading material or give them a digital literacy boost with e-Readers for kids!
  • Summer movies can also help reel in unwilling readers. A summer release may draw children into reading the accompanying book series.
  • Give your child a journal or scrapbook and encourage them to write. Tech savvy kids can create and update their own blog.
  • Limit screen time. Balance media consumption with reading time. Books are recreation as much as video games, surfing the Internet, or watching TV. Variety and balance is key!
  • Play games such as Sudoku or crossword puzzles. Any game with strategy and planning is great to keep the mind working. Find ways to challenge children's minds!
  • Enrol your child in a class at Oxford Learning. With more than 120 locations across Canada and programs suitable for children from preschool to high school, Oxford Learning Summer Programs help ensure that students of all ages spend time exploring, discovering, creating and learning.

"Oxford Learning's summer programs ensure that your child's break from school is not a break from learning," says Dr. Whitehead. "Learning is a part of life, not just a part of school. By attending our summer learning programs, students head back to school informed, motivated, and ready to hit the ground running."

About Oxford Learning

Established in 1984, Oxford Learning has grown to include more than 120 learning centres across Canada and the United States. Oxford Learning goes beyond tutoring to help students reach their learning potential, not just for one grade or one year, but for a lifetime. Oxford Learning's unique programs teach children to learn how to learn. Just a few hours a week can make a world of difference in developing the right skills and habits to succeed. No matter what the subject or grade level, Oxford Learning breaks the cycle of hiring tutors year after year. Oxford Learning's proprietary Dynamic Diagnostic Assessment™ allows Oxford Learning staff to get to know each child, from academic standing to skill gaps and learning potential. With the goal of improved grades, motivation, and confidence for any child, Oxford Learning offers four main programs: Little Readers®, for children ages 3 to 6; Beyond Tutoring® for those in grades 1 to 8; Advantage High School Success™ for kids in grades 9 to 12, and En Français™ for students in grades 1-12.

Check out Oxford Learning at oxfordlearning.com or call your local Oxford Learning centre for more details.

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** From May 6-8, 2013 and May 13-14, 2013, Léger, The Research Intelligence Group conducted an online survey among 425 randomly selected Canadians who have children aged 6-18 years old. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/-4.8%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure samples are representative of the Canadian adult population.

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Contact Information

  • For more information or to arrange an interview with
    Dr. Nick Whitehead or an Oxford Learning representative in
    your area, please contact: Strategic Objectives
    (416) 366-7735
    (416) 366-2295 (FAX)