More Ideas for Preventing Summer Learning Loss
The summer slide, brain drain, summer slump – whatever you call it, learning that is lost over the summer break can be problematic, especially for students who are already struggling. Studies show that students typically lose two months’ worth of learning during the summer months, and as was shared in a post last week, students typically score significantly lower on the same test at the end of the break, than they did at the beginning of the summer.
Engaging children in learning, whether through formal summer school courses, or informal learning opportunities, is essential to minimizing the effects of summer learning loss. Summer school courses are perhaps the best prevention for learning loss, particularly if students need extra reinforcement of difficult concepts, or need to recover credits. However, even if students are not enrolled in summer school, learning shouldn’t stop just because the school year is technically over.
Catch up, or Dig Deeper
Summer is a great time to devote extra attention to areas where students struggle, or to allow students to pursue their interests, delving deeper into topics they are passionate about. Have students choose a subject they want to learn more about, and build a summer project around it.
Take Learning on the Road
If your family is traveling this summer, involve students in planning the trip, researching sites to visit, budgeting, and mapping out your journey. Kids will enjoy being involved and gain real world lessons in math, history, and geography. Staying in town? You can still play tourist at home and make a point of researching and visiting your local museums, historical sites, parks, and zoo.
Participate in a summer reading program, like K12’s Summer Reading Challenge or one offered by your local library. Need ideas for what to read? Check out our K12 Reading List for suggestions of appropriate reading lists by grade level. Encourage kids to spend time journaling, either on paper or on their own blog, to encourage writing skills and introspection.
Find Everyday Learning Opportunities
Make learning fun by sneaking lessons into other activities. Cooking, gardening, building and DIY projects, are all great opportunities for kids to practice math and science skills, while having fun.
Go For the Gold!
Even watching this summer’s London Olympics can be educational! Research the history of the games, learn about the more obscure sports and countries, or make a spreadsheet to track medals won by each country. You can find many more great ideas and teaching resources for the Olympics at Project Britain.
Check out the Sophia Summer Challenge with Bill Nye “The Science Guy.” The just-launched program aims to fight summer brain drain by keeping kids engaged in science and math. Students 13 and older can participate in the 8-week challenge by completing tutorials, quizzes, and experiments for a chance to win an iPad.
- thinktanK12: The Benefits of Summer Learning
- thinktanK12: Parents Can Help Minimize Summer Learning Loss
- Summerlearning.org Summer Learning: Know the Facts
- University of Alabama at Birmingham: Education expert offers tips to help your child prevent summer brain drain
- 101 Things to Do This Summer