Students returning to school this fall face the possibility of starting the academic year with achievement scores lower than what they had scored at the beginning of summer break. This phenomenon has a few names but is commonly referred to as “summer learning loss”. The idea is that, without regular practice, new knowledge fades with time.
On average, the equivalent of one month of learning is lost after summer vacation. However, the good news is that it takes around 2-3 hours of work per week to prevent learning loss over the summer.
Not only does summer learning loss serve as a disadvantage to students, but teachers also must spend time re-teaching subject matter before they can move on to new content.
So, how can we lessen the impact of summer learning loss?
Apart from engaging in a continuous learning program, such as Summer Camp, there are a few things to focus on at home. Mathematics has the largest percentage of learning loss of any subject, so it is important to continue to implement practicing this skill throughout the summer. Online math games, board games, and making up more “hands on” math games can be beneficial. Examples of this could look like counting how many points each team has earned while playing soccer or basketball, using pool toys to practice multiplication, or practicing word problems with fruit on a picnic!
More Helpful Activities to Try this Summer
Ways to incorporate reading into your child’s summer:
- Local library trip
- Read one chapter together at night
- Creating a reward system for finishing each chapter/book
Ways to incorporate creativity into your child’s summer:
- Find process art projects and crafts to try with your child
- Join an art class together
- Purchase a journal to practice creative writing or drawing in
Ways to incorporate exploration into your child’s summer:
- Visit a museum, science exhibit, or art show
- Visit historic sites, do historical tours
- Visit the zoo or an aquarium, talk about each different animal species
Need Topics to Discuss This Summer to Keep Your Child Thinking?
- Dinosaurs – Paleontology is not only interesting to adults, but children too! Research them with books, age-appropriate documentaries, and trips to local science museums!
- Animals – Does your child seem to be interested in the basics of biology? If so, get your child outside and show them the local wildlife, zoos, museums, etc. Encourage your child to enjoy educational programs, such as David Attenborough’s productions.
- Outer Space – Exploration of space has captivated the minds of young students for centuries. NASA has an interactive website just for kids! There are also countless books that cover the topic to enjoy all summer long. Don’t forget to get outside and sit under the stars. Maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of a meteor shower together?
REMEMBER: Be Present and Engaged!
It is important to not only be present for these activities, but to be fully engaged! Children benefit from being asked to interpret what they see. After interpretation, it can also be helpful to “consolidate” much of what they learned through each activity by asking them what they remember from it.
How can a summer camp program benefit your child?
According to the American Summer Camp Association, camps and other youth development programs provide the opportunity to reduce summer learning loss in an expanded learning environment where children are engaged experientially and have the opportunity for additional academic enrichment.
At The Nest Schools, we emphasize the benefits of a well-rounded summer program that continues the learned knowledge gained over the academic year. Not only is a well-rounded program awesome for continued learning, but it’s pertinent to find a summer program that encourages the fun in learning!
Each year, The Nest Schools offers themed summer camp programs as an extension to the academic year. The curriculum includes the same enrichment programs offered throughout the rest of the year; however, new and exciting activities are added each week!
This year’s theme is Around The World! We will be traveling to multiple destinations; we will learn all about The Great Wall of China, The Great Barrier Reef, and much more! Each week, we will explore a destination and its culture, including delicious cuisine unique to that region. Children will also have their passports stamped and participate in The Nest Games, where we will practice a childhood game popular to each destination!
It’s important to help reduce summer learning loss, but it’s even more important to emphasize how fun learning can be. Instilling a love of learning will go beyond this summer and create a brighter future for every child.