Nebraska parents keep kids learning during summer vacation amid lower reading and math scores

Posted at 10:56 AM, Jul 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-10 12:52:49-04

RALSTON, Neb. (KMTV) — Neistasha Gillaspy is all about balance when it comes to keeping her two kids engaged in learning; they’re focused on subjects data says many other kids are struggling with.

Eight-year-old Charlynn and six-year-old Keegan are taking in the joys of summer, but Mom makes sure there’s time to learn a thing or two as well.

Gillaspy has enrolled her kids in summer school through Plattsmouth Community Schools.

"We learn how to read," Charlynn said. "In the morning we do reading and math."

Recent data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed reading scores for nine-year-olds are at a 30-year low. 2022 saw the biggest decline in math scores they’ve seen in over 50 years.

The scores were slipping before COVID-19, but Gillaspy said the pandemic’s effects are to blame.

"Two years of being home and learning, they didn’t get to do as much as they did and they were already struggling with it," she said.

While she loves to see her kids learn, she still wants to set aside some time for fun.

"It is their summer break, so I don't want to force them to be constantly learning and working on those skills," Gillaspy said.

The decline in scores was seen between the years 2020 and 2022. Some tips for parents include reading to their kids often, making what they’re learning fun, and encouraging them to journal.

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