There is a lot of research on a phenomenon that researchers refer to as Summer Learning Loss. In 1996 a researcher named H. Cooper aggregated the results from 39 separate studies on the negative effects of summer vacation on students standardized test scores. The results were staggering. According to all of this research, students on average lose the equivalent of one month worth of learning during summer vacation. 2.6 months of math education and 2 months of reading education is lost each summer. And these numbers are even worse as poverty and other socioeconomic factors are added into the equation.
That amount of learning loss adds up over time and by the end of 6th grade, students who experience learning loss can be up to two years behind their peers. Your child’s education is a building block for their future professional success, and in a world where the job market is getting more and more competitive, and college more and more expensive, staying on top of your child’s learning is critically important.
The solutions recommended by the researchers are big picture remedies that would have to be determined and implemented on a global scale. Those three recommendations are extending the school year so that children are not out of school for such an extended period of time, remedial summer school, and modifying the calendar so that student have more, shorter breaks from school. For parents who want to address summer learning loss for their children, lobbying to extend the school year is probably the most complicated way to go about it. So what changes can you make in your family to fight summer learning loss?
The skills that are lost at the highest rate are math and reading. So, as you sign your students up for arts and athletic camps, consider balancing those with camps that focus on those subjects. And if your child struggles with or generally doesn’t enjoy math and reading, make sure the camp is fun and engaging. Perhaps it will make them feel more confident in school.
Set daily reading requirements for your children that they must complete before your plopping themselves in front of the tv watching movies or playing video games. If they can engage in reading and learn to love it, they can become your partners in the fight against learning loss.
Purchase some summer works books to help your children stay on track during the summer. Find out from their teachers which subjects they need to practice most and spend the summer conquering them.
However you choose to address the issue of summer learning loss, your children will benefit from an intentional focus on growing in areas where they have the most potential for growth. Talk to their teachers and get recommendations on where they struggle now, and what they should be prepared to learn in the future. And if you have questions about how to keep your kids engaged in their education, or if you’re interested in an educational summer camp contact us today.