Every year, the arrival of June signals the end of the school year. Children of all ages poured into the streets, and after a year of studying, doing group work, taking tests, and engaging in classroom assignments, they excitedly start making plans for what they’ll do with two months of freedom.
Unfortunately, over the course of the summer, most of them will lose at least two months worth of the learning they worked so hard to attain throughout the school year. The brightest of these kids will likely be able to bounce back fairly quickly come September, but for those with less of a natural aptitude for school, regaining the lost knowledge can be an arduous process indeed.
This phenomenon is known as “summer learning loss” or the “summer slide,” and it affects children of all ages. But what, if anything, can parents do to curb this waste of time, resources, and effort?
Try to Keep Your Kids Intellectually Active Year-Round
Most experts agree that the major cause of summer learning loss is simply that students stop using the skills they have been developing over the course of the year. This is especially true of reading and math skills, which are a critical part of the curriculum in the early grades.
This means that if you want to slow learning loss — or stop it altogether — you need to keep kids intellectually engaged during summer holidays and holidays year-round. This doesn’t necessarily mean that kids need to be doing math problems every afternoon, but it does mean that parents should find ways to encourage their children to keep practicing the skills they have learned.
In the case of reading, this might mean signing children up for summer reading programs or joining a book club for elementary students. In the case of math, math-based games like Sudoku puzzles can be a great resource to make learning fun and accessible during the summer months.
Hire a Tutor to Keep Them From Falling Behind
If your child is already struggling in school, summer learning loss can have a massively detrimental impact on self-esteem and academic progress, as they’ll be starting the new school year even further behind than they would otherwise have been.
In this situation, hiring a tutor to meet with your child one-on-one every week is one of the best ways to make sure they don’t lose precious ground. Even an hour of weekly tutoring can help keep new concepts at the forefront of a child’s mind and can make the transition back into school in the fall less difficult.
If you want to know more about how you can find a local tutor in your area, you can click here to learn more about local tutoring services and how they can help your child meet their education goals this summer and in the coming year.
Minimizing summer learning loss is a problem that confronts most parents at one point or another, so finding ways to make a proactive strategy for how you are going to keep your kids intellectually engaged and using what they have learned is essential.
Every child deserves to have fun during the summer, but striking a good balance between leisure and learning is a great way to ensure that they remain confident and ready to learn when they head back to school in September.