The summer slide doesn’t have to be an obstacle
School’s out for summer! But learning doesn’t have to stop. By now, you’re probably familiar with the term “summer slide,” and with efforts to keep students engaged in learning experiences throughout the summer break.
Seventy-six percent of teachers have said it is “extremely important” to practice skills and keep learning over the summer, and 84 percent of teachers said that students forget or “lose” grade-level equivalency, skills, and knowledge over the summer.
But 90 percent of teachers note that if kids remain involved in learning during the summer months, they’ll see more academic success.
Classroom time would be more productive, too, because 85 percent of teachers said they spend two full weeks, and sometimes more, re-teaching and reviewing concepts they say students should have already learned.
(Next page: 7 ways to support summer learning)
Other summer learning facts include:
- 95 percent of parents said that if students keep learning over the summer, their academic performance will benefit
- 75 percent of parents said they wish educators would tell them more about summer learning loss and strategies to address and prevent it
- The highest summer learning losses occur in math and spelling
- By 9th grade, summer learning loss could be blamed for about two-thirds of the achievement gap
- By the time 6th grade draws to a close, students who have lost reading skills over the summer are, on average, about 2 years behind their peers
Here are seven ways to encourage and support summer learning:
1. Use all resources available, including libraries, museums, and online educational sites.
2. Keep reading. Parents and teachers can create summer reading lists for students, and such lists might be available through local library programs.
3. Seek out learning opportunities in normal activities. Are you cooking with your child? Incorporate math. Have children write grocery lists to keep their spelling skills strong.
4. Summers mean vacations, and children can research vacation destinations to learn about historical facts, calculate how many miles they’ll drive, and more.
5. If children earn allowance or do part-time work, creating a budget and savings plan is one day to involve them in math.
6. Don’t stop writing. It’s tempting to give students a break from writing assignments, but setting children up with pen pals, having them keep blogs about their summer experiences, or asking them to write short books about summer experiences are all ways to support writing skills.
7. Graph, graph, graph. Math skills are so important, and students can create charts or graphs that correlate to their summer goals and activities.
(Next page: Summer learning infographic)
Click on the below infographic for the full-size image.