Students all over the country are counting down the days until summer break arrives. Lazy mornings, vacations, and fun are in store for many, but often along with that comes summer slide, or the learning loss experienced by many students during the break from school. Summer slide disproportionately affects low-income students, and accounts for roughly two-thirds of the reading achievement gap between low- and middle-income students by ninth grade.
With summer break fast approaching (and for some, already here!), it’s important to think about what students can do to prevent summer learning loss. Ninety percent of teachers spend nearly a month of school reteaching students concepts and skills they’ve already learned, and keeping them engaged and active over the summer can help cut down on this review time.
One of the best and simplest things kids can do to keep their minds active over the summer is read! The best books to read are the ones students are interested in, and reading magazines, comics, and recipes can be just as helpful. Schools and libraries often have suggested summer reading lists for each grade level, and can help make texts available to kids who might struggle to access them.
Another easy way to create opportunities for summer learning is to enroll kids in summer camps or courses. Summer camps are great for both learning and keeping kids physically active, and can provide them with a place to be while their parents work. This is especially important for lower-income students whose parents may be unable to afford child care, and in some cases, food. And summer courses can help kids reinforce what they’ve already learned, review concepts they struggled with, work ahead, or take a deeper dive into interests they don’t have time to explore during the academic year.
Lastly, the easiest thing for kids to do is simply take advantage of the world around them. There are endless learning opportunities everywhere you look, even when completing such simple tasks as cooking dinner or washing the car. Anything that actively engages kids and keeps them thinking about what they’re doing and why can help keep their minds working during the summer months, helping them get ready for the upcoming school year.
Summer doesn’t have to be a time for learning loss. All it takes to avoid this is a little planning and work!
If you’re interested in learning more about online summer courses and how your schools and students can benefit from them, check out Edgenuity’s summer school offerings.
Little Scholars. (n.d.). 10 ways to prevent summer slide. Retrieved from https://littlescholarsllc.wordpress.com/10-ways-to-prevent-summer-slide/
National Summer Learning Association. (2016). 10 tips to help you plan for summer learning. Retrieved from http://summerlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Tip-Sheet-Plan-for-Summer-Learning.pdf
National Summer Learning Association. (2016). Summer can set kids on the right—or wrong—course. Retrieved from http://summerlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/SummerCanSetKidsOnTheRightOrWrongCourse.pdf
National Summer Learning Association. (2017). Summer by the numbers: The achievement gap: What happens to children during the summer? Retrieved from http://www.summerlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/SummerByTheNumbers.pdf