We had a parents meeting with the head of our school and the school librarian to talk about summer reading lists and math workbooks. The statistic that they quoted was "a child can lose two months of reading and spelling skills over the summer."
Kumon and other "learning centers" are advertising REALLY heavily in our area right now about avoiding "summer brain drain". The ads basically try to convince you that your child will be way behind without summer tutoring.
Our school requires the following but I am lucky that my son loves to read and math is his strength. If the school didn't hand out math work books he would be online or using his allowance to buy some, LOL. He is balking at the idea of "required" reading but I know if we just pile a bunch of books next to is bed they will get read. Plus the onus is on him not me so, like homework, if it gets done great. If it doesn't no big deal.
In K-3 the students are encouraged to read from a long list of books/authors and are required to complete a math workbook over the summer months. For reading the thought is "no matter what your child reads, as long as it interests him/her, reading skills will continue to improve over the summer." so there is no required amount of reading. The math work book translates to about 2 pages a week and is turned in at the start of the school year.
In grades 4-5 students are given one core book that they are required to read over the summer. They are encouraged to takes notes and build a summary of the book to be used as a basis for writing assignment in the Fall. They are also required to read one book from four sections of the summer reading list: Fiction, Biography/Arts/Poetry, History/Geography, Science/Mathematics. The math work book translates to about 5 pages a week and is reviewed by the teacher in the fall. The students and parents are encouraged to make notes on areas of difficulty to assist the the teacher in assessing each child in the fall but it is not required.
In grades 6-7 it is basically the same as grades 4/5 but the books are more complex and there is a summer book report due at the end of the summer and but the math works books are still about 5 pages a week.
Like I said "Summer brain drain" is a non issue for us because my son would be reading and doing math all summer even w/o the school requirements but there are a lot of parents who are really pissed saying that "Their summer is ruined", "Now I get to spend all summer arguing with my kids", "Summer is for fun not work!". Plus the working parents are feeling the pressure because basically their schedules don't change. The kids are in all day camps so this stuff needs to be done at night or on weekends.
So, are you worried about summer brain drain? If you are what are you doing about it? Does your kid have a tutor or go to Kumon or the like? Do you schedule "reading time" or set aside time each day for learning?
If you are not, why not?
Does your school require summer work? If they do you "force the issue" or are you more laid back letting your child set the pace?