07/13/2012 09:57 am ET | Updated Sep 12, 2012

Learning Doesn't Take a Summer Break

Summer vacation arrives each year and with it comes debate over how much impact three months without school has upon a child's education and learning. If you ask teachers, many will tell you that they often spend the first two months of the new school year reviewing the material children learned, and forgot, from the previous year. Thus, three months off followed by two months of review, means children go nearly half a year without learning anything new. That doesn't work!

Admittedly, many schools have initiated "summer reading programs," for which a school will recommend grade-level appropriate books. However, if you ask children how they spent their summer vacation, you'd be lucky to find that 1 out of 100 say "reading." As a result, the top 1% likely move forward during the summer, while 99% do not!

When I challenged my Head of the Class colleagues to find a solution, we concluded that if kids (and parents) would invest 30 minutes a day, for 60 days, they could leverage our 12,000+ learning activities not only to review material from the previous grade level, but to begin to master the curriculum the child would cover during the upcoming school year. 60 days, 30 minutes a day, and children would be set for success in their next grade. With that, the Head of the Class 60-Day Curriculum was born.

When we sat down to design the program, we took summer family trips, holidays, days off, and other scheduling challenges in mind and crafted a program children could start at any time (such as today) and which they could complete as quickly as they desired or at a pace that balanced other summer activities. The net result was that although 60 days seemed optimal, 30, 90, or even 120 days provided the same net result -- a child prepared for school success.

To start your child in the 60-day program, you must register at the Head of the Class site to get your child's username and password. After that, you select the 60-day program based on your child's grade level, and your work is done! You child will simply log into the system each day and Head of the Class will monitor his or her progress.

And, the entire program is free!

For an overview on how to get started, watch this 5-minute presentation.

For parents wanting to participate in their child's learning process, we have provided at grade-level activities and step-by-step teaching instruction the parents can follow to teach their child specific skills, such as fractions, phonics, and language arts. Again, the grade-level activities and teaching instruction is free!

So, if you want to set the stage for your child's success, have him or her invest 30 minutes of computer time each day at Head of the Class.

Kris Jamsa, Ph.D., MBA is the author of over 110 books on computing and education. Jamsa holds six college degrees which include a Ph.D. in Computer Science, a Ph.D. in Education, and Masters in Education with a focus on multiple intelligences. Jamsa is the author of the Head of the Class book series which present over 12,000 learning activities, available to parents and learners at the Head of the Class Website, for free! Dr. Jamsa believes all children deserve the opportunity for a quality education, for free, and through the use of technology, we can deliver that opportunity.