The “summer slide” refers to a student’s loss of academic gains during the summer months, usually due to a lack of practice and engagement with material they learned the previous school year. Summer learning loss is a serious issue for many students that don’t partake in educational activities throughout these months. Studies of this phenomenon have shown that summer learning deficits can leave some students months behind when entering the new school year. At Tutor Doctor, we highly encourage summer learning! Here are some benefits of summer learning programs:
The facts don’t lie – summer learning improves academic skills
The Wallace Foundation spent 50 million dollars to fund the National Summer Learning Project, a complex study that examined whether voluntary summer learning programs actually helped students. The study examined over 3,000 individuals and found that students who attended summer learning programs outperformed students that did not attend these programs when starting school again. Even more impressively, the study cited a 25 percent gain in competency for students that attended such programs. There’s no doubt about it – summer learning really helps!
Summer learning improves attitudes towards school
Perhaps a more interesting result of the National Summer Learning Project study is that students who attended summer programs had a notable increase in positive attitudes towards school and learning in general. According to the study, “High-attending students also were rated by teachers as having stronger social and emotional competencies than the control group students.” Summer learning undoubtedly helps foster positive attitudes towards education!
Summer programs help to avoid forgetting material from the previous year
As we mentioned before, students often fall behind after summer vacation due to several months of not being in school. The summer slide is not specific to any one type of learner, either – forgetting material can happen to any student. The Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project, another nationwide initiative that examines the benefits of summer learning, has this to say:
“Most children, regardless of socioeconomic status, lose 2 months of grade-level equivalency in math computational skills each summer.”
In other words, a student’s background and prior performance have little to do with how summer learning deficits might affect them. Whether your student is average, struggling, or already succeeding in school – summer learning programs can be beneficial to everyone!
Summer programs give students time to go back and revisit unclear concepts
It is very common for students to have been confused at a certain point in the schoolyear, but because of the pacing of the class these issues were never dealt with. For example, if a student is struggling with fractions but their teacher is already moving on to decimals, important concepts are left never being fully understood. A clear benefit of private tutoring is the ability to cater to each individual student’s needs! Summer vacation is the perfect time to go back and revisit old subjects that may have needed more attention during the schoolyear.
Overall, we can’t stress the importance of summer learning enough here at Tutor Doctor. Please reach out to us if you are interested in summer tutoring and let us help avoid the summer slide!