An interesting article was published this month entitled “Students’ eating and exercise habits over the summer break: The role of family income“. As a teacher, I’ve always been aware of the “summer backslide” academically. At the beginning of a new school year, academic standards are often higher than at the end of the previous grade, yet children have spent the summer away from the educational tutelage of school. This article offers the common-sense point of view that summer is also a time when health habits are different. Indeed, I was speaking with a teacher in line at Target recently who confessed that she, herself, ate more ice cream and worked out less during the summer because it was “vacation”. Adults and children, alike, may engage in less healthy behaviors during the summer months. And, according to this article, this disconnect is more prevalent in children of lower socioeconomic status.
The take-away? For teachers, we must be aware that the beginning of the school year is a time to reinforce, not only academic standards, but also healthy behaviors. Remember, active students are engaged learners!