Summer slide, or summer learning loss, affects students starting as early as first grade. On average, students lose a month of overall learning, two months of reading skills, and nearly three months of math skills over summer break. Summer slide disproportionately affects economically disadvantaged kids, accounting for up to two-thirds of the income-based achievement gap by high school. Despite these grim statistics, summer slide is surprisingly preventable.
Preventing Summer Learning Loss
Studies have shown that reading just six books throughout the summer can help maintain reading level. For other disciplines, like math and science, it only takes two to three hours per week of skill practice and review to prevent summer slide. Summer school programs are an excellent way to retain grade-level skills and play catch-up, but these programs are becoming increasingly less common in the public education arena due to lack of funding and resources. Fortunately, there are lots of ways for parents to incorporate learning into everyday routines, such as joining a summer reading program at the library, signing kids up for a learning-based day camp, or teaching them a skill or craft. There are also helpful educational tool kits that streamline summer learning, like Shell Education’s Summer Blast series.
Tools for Parents
Summer Blast is the perfect solution for parents who want to prevent summer learning loss or even prepare children for the next grade level. The series helps parents seamlessly connect the previous grade with the upcoming grade by reviewing last year’s skills and anticipate what kids will learn at the beginning of the next school year. Each Summer Blast book offers nine weeks of language arts, math, and critical thinking activities, puzzles, and art projects. The series also offers bonus activities for everyday learning, like web-based, book lists, and suggestions to enhance family trips. Summer Blast books are available to prepare kids for kindergarten through fifth grade.
Summer slide is serious, but preventing it doesn’t have to be. Provide parents with information about the resources they can utilize to help their children during summer break, and reap the rewards next school year with a class full of kids who are ready to dive head-first into their new grade level.