How to stay engaged with learning during the summer holidays

With schools across England breaking up for the summer this Friday, most teens will be looking forward to a much needed break after months of disruptions to learning. However, with nearly a quarter of pupils out of school last week because of the ‘pingdemic’ – and an absence rate of nearly a third for secondary schools – those currently in key academic years may be looking for ways to reengage themselves with some form of light learning over the holidays.

While unwinding is important, long weeks off in the summer can set teens back a few steps when they return to school in September. This phenomenon has been referred to as the ‘summer slide’, and has been intensified by the pandemic over the last 18 months.

In light of this, leading EdTech platform, MyTutor, provide their top tips for teens who trying to find ways of staying engaged over the summer:

1) Shows to keep teens learning – without them even noticing!

If working through textbooks is the last thing your teen wants to do right now, keeping them learning without feeling like they’re studying might be what you need. Lots of popular shows – such as The Apprentice or Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet’ have educational depth to them despite being fun to watch. Another show, Explained on Netflix, provides a run-through of huge topics in easy to understand 30-minute episodes. Some texts on the school syllabus also have their own shows, like The Handmaid’s Tale, which can prep your teen for when they start studying the book in September.

2) Free group tuition over the summer

Experts estimate that students will only keep 70% of reading knowledge and 50% in maths as a result of the pandemic and the remote learning that has taken place. However, it only takes as little as 2 hours per week of active learning to stop this from happening – and that doesn’t mean teens have to be sat at their desk. In light of this, MyTutor are offering a programme of free and discounted tuition over the summer, in an attempt to help kids who need a little extra help, as well as drop-in sessions. The resources and further information can be found here.

3) Make small weekly goals

Focusing on the small wins is a great way to help grow confidence after lots of uncertainty in education. Making a few small goals for teens to focus on each week can help achieve this – and can be academic or extracurricular – such as reading one book a week or signing up to a sports club. Teens can make their goals a tiny bit more ambitious each week, setting them up for a good start for the new academic year.

Bertie Hubbard, Co-founder of MyTutor, discusses the benefits of EdTech for teens:

“EdTech allows us to bring life-changing learning to more kids than ever before. At MyTutor, we provide online tuition that raises kids’ grades, boosts confidence and helps them fulfil their potential in life. Because it’s online, kids get access to amazing tutors from across the country, rather than whoever’s nearby. As there’s no travel for the student or the tutors, it also saves time and money travelling – reducing the cost and stress involved for parents.

Tech also means we can offer high quality learning experiences at a scale not possible offline. Our tutors learn from each other in their online community, and they have access to online training built by teachers. Because they’re subject experts from UK universities, they have recent GCSE and A Level exam experience and up to date curriculum knowledge – perfect for helping teens achieve the best grades they can.

Rather than replacing teachers with robots, the biggest power of EdTech lies in enhancing person-to-person learning. With MyTutor, the emotional impact on kids is huge – they love learning from “cool” older role models, and 88% of students experience a boost in their self-confidence as a result.

We know it works academically too – students improve, on average, by a whole grade (often more) in a term’s worth of lessons. So as we continue to develop our technology we can automate some manual processes such as tutor matching, scheduling lessons and planning lesson content, all the while keeping personal human interaction at the core of online learning.”