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How To Prevent Summer Learning Loss

Young female students during summer

Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, but it can also be a period where children experience a significant setback in their learning progress. This phenomenon, known as summer learning loss, can have long-term impacts on a child's academic journey. Thankfully, there are effective strategies to prevent this learning loss and ensure children remain intellectually engaged during the summer months.

What Is Summer Learning Loss?

Summer learning loss, also known as the "summer slide," is a drop in students’ academic knowledge and skills that occurs during the summer break. Without the structure and regular practice provided by the school year, students often forget key concepts, making it harder for them to catch up when school resumes. This can affect various subjects, including reading, math, and science, leading to a cumulative deficit in learning over time.

How Much Learning Do Kids Lose Over the Summer?

Learning loss affects students differently and can be challenging to measure accurately in research. Some of the difficulty lies in the diverse ways students learn and retain information, as well as the potential influence of the specific test questions.

The current standard for measuring learning loss is an assessment by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), which suggests that students can lose up to three months of learning over the summer.1 There appear to be greater losses in math compared to reading, and some suspect the impact is more pronounced for low-income students who may lack access to summer learning opportunities.2

Anecdotally, students, parents, and teachers commonly express that some of what was learned during the previous school year is lost (or maybe never properly retained). This makes it a major concern, even if it can’t yet be measured in a way that researchers agree upon.

Strategies for Preventing Summer Learning Loss

Here’s how to prevent summer learning loss and keep your child's mind sharp during the summer.

1. Encourage Daily Reading

Reading is one of the best ways to prevent summer learning loss. Encourage your child to read daily, whether it's books, magazines, or even comic books. Setting aside at least 20 minutes each day for reading can significantly boost their literacy skills. Consider joining a summer reading program at your local library to add an element of excitement and community.

2. Incorporate Math in Everyday Activities

Math skills can easily slip during the summer, but incorporating math into daily activities can help. Engage your child in practical math exercises like cooking (measuring ingredients), shopping (calculating totals and change), or even playing math-based games and puzzles. Online resources and math apps can also provide interactive and fun ways to practice math skills.

3. Explore Educational Apps and Online Resources

There are numerous educational apps and websites designed to make learning fun and interactive. Platforms like Khan Academy, Duolingo, and Prodigy offer engaging lessons in various subjects. These tools can help reinforce what your child has learned during the school year and introduce them to new concepts.

4. Plan Educational Trips and Activities

Learning doesn't have to be confined to books and screens. Plan educational outings to museums, science centers, zoos, and historical sites. These trips can provide hands-on learning experiences that are both fun and informative. Even a nature walk can turn into a science lesson about plants and animals.

5. Encourage Creative Writing

student writing in a notebook

Creative writing is an excellent way to keep your child's writing and critical thinking skills sharp. Encourage them to keep a journal, write stories, or even start a blog. Writing regularly helps children practice their grammar, vocabulary, and expressive abilities.

6. Set Learning Goals and Rewards

Setting specific learning goals for the summer can provide your child with a sense of purpose and achievement. Work with your child to set realistic and measurable goals, such as finishing a certain number of books or mastering a math topic. Offering rewards for reaching these goals can serve as motivation.

7. Enroll in Summer Camps and Programs

Many organizations offer summer learning programs and camps focused on academics, arts, and sciences. These programs can provide structured learning environments and opportunities for social interaction. Look for camps that align with your child's interests and strengths to keep them engaged and excited about learning.

At Lydian Academy, we offer STEAM camp (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) and middle school day camp. These camps provide students with hands-on summer learning experiences in various subjects, encouraging creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.

8. Promote Physical Activity and Play

Encourage your child to stay active through sports, outdoor play, and physical games. Exercise helps improve concentration, memory, and overall brain function, making it an essential component of a balanced summer routine.

Take Your Child's Learning to New Heights at Lydian Academy

Male teen Lydian Academy student

At Lydian Academy, we believe in the power of personalized education. Our one-to-one classes and individualized learning environments are designed to cater to each student's unique needs and learning styles. This tailored approach helps students grasp new concepts more effectively and retain what they’ve learned, even during breaks like the summer months. Most importantly, it helps students build confidence and maintain their academic momentum.

Every student deserves an education that truly works for them and helps them achieve their goals. Contact us today to discuss enrollment or learn more about how our summer courses can help students catch up, get ahead, or just refresh what they’ve learned.

Sources:

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/schools-out-should-you-worry-about-the-summer-slide/
  2. https://www.nwea.org/blog/2024/summer-learning-loss-what-we-know-what-were-learning/

We offer a unique year-round one-on-one learning experience, personalized to you and your schedule.

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