Between the end of one school year and the start of the next, every student risks summer learning loss. With the end of school right around the corner, this is a important topic should be on every parent and educator’s mind.
On average, students lose 2 months of reading skills over the summer
Whether your child loves to read, play outside, or get techy, there are many fun but effective ways to promote learning over the break. Since the summer will be here before you know it, it’s a great idea to start planning now what activities you’ll use to avoid summer learning loss
Studies show that reading four to five books over the summer has a positive impact comparable to summer school enrollment. Plus, this gives your child a chance to choose books that he or she is interested in, keeping the activity fun and interesting too!
How to fit Reading into your summer plans:
- Take a trip to your local library.
- Bring a book with you to the park or the beach.
- Read a chapter in the morning, when your child is used to learning and before other plans cause distraction.
- Create a competition or join a summer reading challenge.
Children are at risk of losing more than just academic knowledge during the summer – physical fitness levels also take a hit. Encouraging physical activity all summer long will help your child stay at peak mental form, as physical health is known to enhance academic performance.
Regular physical activity can lead to increased concentration and improved mathematics and test scores.
Incorporate physical activity into your summer plans:
- Sign your child up for a team sport.
- Encourage learning a new skill such as swimming or tennis.
- Go on walks or hikes. Explore your city, a regional park or the shore line.
- Plan on going on family bike rides a few times a week (it will be good for you too).
Technology has become somewhat of a dirty word for many. When we think about technology, our thoughts usually turn to getting them off it as opposed to getting them on it.
However, the proper use of technology offers many opportunities to encourage summer learning. Through promoting vital skills like problem solving and critical thinking, educational games are a valuable way to allow technology to your summer learner.
How incorporate educational technology into your summer plans
- Challenge your child to a new high score on an educational app.
- Start a tech project together.
- Teach kids through your own tasks – ie. baking a cake, or fixing a bicycle.
Between 65,200 educational apps, various tech-based toys, and even just household activities, there are an endless supply of tech projects to use to encourage summer learning for your child.
BRING IN A SUMMER TUTOR
Tutors are not just for kids struggling in class, they can help year-round. Studies show that bringing in a tutor for just one or two sessions a week can dramatically decrease any summer loss or eliminate it completely. It can help keep their minds sharp, help reinforce what they learned during the year and give them a huge head start when the new school year begins.
Tips for Successful Summer Tutoring
- Plan the sessions for earlier in the day before outside activities start calling.
- If you have the flexibility and know the weather report for the following week, see if you can plan session on those predicted rainy days.
- You don’t have to tutor to the school subjects. If you child has done well in school, pick a tutor and subject that interests them.
- Contact the school and get a head start on next year’s classes. Even a brief introduction, using the skills learned last year, can have a huge impact.
SUMMER LOSS STATISTICS
- 2.6 Months of Math skills are lost over the summer.
- 2.0 Months of Reading skills are lost over the summer.
- 1.0 Month of overall learning is lost during the summer.
- 6-weeks are spent in the fall relearning old material to make up for summer loss.
- It can take 2-months from the first day of school for a student’s brain development to get back on track after summer learning loss.
- Summer loss can be recognized in students as early as the 1st grade.By 6th grade, summer learning loss can put a student 2-years behind their peers who have not experienced the loss.
- 2-months of consistent summer learning is all it takes to buck the above trends.