On average, a student’s math computation skills plummet about 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency over the summer months. Additionally, reading achievement in low-income students drops more than 2 months on average. These statistics are according to The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Summer Learning, as reported by Reading Is Fundamental. The regression, known as the “summer slide,” can put teachers and students at a disadvantage because they must spend the first few weeks of the new school year getting back up to speed.
Summer learning loss is a concern, not only for teachers and students but for many parents as well. Their plates are already full and getting the wheels in motion may seem like a daunting task. Providing them with an end-of-year packet with simple tools like worksheets, printables, and information on local summer programs can help fight the summer slide and keep kids on a path to educational success.
Keep Skills Fresh
Light skills review is a great addition to summer month activities. Look for Jump Start lessons that include quick, daily practice in reading comprehension, language arts and writing, mathematics, and problem solving to reinforce skills from this year’s curriculum. Reviews and a built-in answer key are also helpful features. With all this practice, kids can be ready to build on their skills when the first bell rings.
Children don’t need to spend the entire summer day keeping up with their studies. Simply including 20–30 minutes per day will keep their minds active and keep their skills on pace, going a long way to prevent summer learning loss.
Technology can be a double-edged sword, especially during the summer months when students have more free time. In a recent study of parents, it was reported that two-third of children 13 and under are reading digital books and 92% read digital book at least once a week. Technology is here to stay, especially as new apps and online resources are being developed with easy accessibility. Digital devices have become an important tool in a student’s education. At the same time though, parents often feel like their kids are forever staring at a screen to the detriment of face-to-face social contact.
Share this printable with parents at the end of the year, encouraging them to put a summer plan in place to limit the amount of time their kids spend using computers, tablets, video games, or even TV. Children can “earn” screen time by completing tasks that prevent summer learning loss, like reading or writing in a summer journal, while also encouraging creativity, physical activity, and responsibility with chores.
Additional Ideas for Everyday Learning
- Keep in Touch: Provide a self-addressed envelope to each student at the end of the year, encouraging them to write you a letter over the summer.
- Local Resources: Provide a list of local resources (libraries, museums, science centers, and camps) that offer summer programs that will keep students learning and having fun during their break.
Do you provide your students and families with any tools to prevent the summer slide? What do you include?