Preventing Summer Learning Loss, AKA, the “Summer Slide”
With summer just around the corner, the Sevier County School System would like to collaborate with parents and families, in order to help prevent the “Summer Slide”. Research shows that when students are not exposed to educational opportunities during the summer, then they can experience what is called, “Summer Learning Loss”. AKA, the “Summer Slide”. Here are some facts about the “Summer Slide” according to Little Scholars article, “Summer Slide Prevention”,
- “Students can lose up to 15% of their academic ability over the summer if they don’t read, write, or practice math” (Little Scholars, 2017).
- “Some children lose as much as three months of academic progress over the summer” (Little Scholars, 2017).
- “Learning loss is inevitable when kids take the summer off from educational activities” (Little Scholars, 2017).
- “Teachers spend the first four to six weeks of a new school year re-teaching and reviewing last year’s material due to summer learning loss” (Little Scholars, 2017).
HOWEVER, students and families can continue building their educational skills and prepare for the upcoming school year by participating in fun, summer learning programs, and at home learning activities. Here are ways parents and families can work with their child to prevent summer learning loss:
- “Ask your child’s teacher for suggestions on books and activities for summer learning specific to your child. If your child is struggling in a particular subject, summer is a great time to go back and remediate. This can bridge the learning gaps and build their confidence” (Little Scholars, 2017).
- “Make summer learning a part of your schedule. A good rule of thumb is twenty to thirty minutes three days per week should be spent on summer learning” (Little Scholars, 2017).
- “Continue to read EVERY day” (Little Scholars, 2017)! Research shows that if your child reads for 1 minute a day outside of the school, they will only learn 8,000 words, but if your child reads for 20 minutes a day outside of school, they will learn 1,800,000 words.
- “Even the best parents can become overwhelmed and exhausted with a long, unstructured break” (Little Scholars, 2017). Consider hiring a tutor or pairing your child up with an older sibling, neighborhood friend, or high school student who is looking to gain community service hours, and can work with your child during the summer months to promote educational activities. “Many students work better when the teacher isn’t mom or dad” (Little Scholars, 2017).
- You can go beyond the simple paper and pencil activities. “Consider apps and educational games to keep your child engaged or even some fun activities such as ‘horse’ to practice spelling words or addition hopscotch” (Little Scholars, 2017).
- “Make summer learning fun…cook with your children, plant a garden, have a family book club, make a summer scrapbook” (Little Scholars, 2017)!
Summer is a great time to get creative with your child’s learning in order to make it fun, yet challenging. According to Edutopia, “By implementing a summer plan and igniting your child’s passion for learning, he or she can enjoy a renewed sense of academic self-esteem and dignity” (Dianis, 2013). Therefore, parents and families, please continue to engage in your child’s education throughout the summer months, as this is an important component to their academic success.