Research shows that most students lose one month of learning over the summer. Here’s how you can help.
Q. Is it true that all kids lose academic skills during the summer? Is this cause for concern? And is there anything you can do at home to help kids stay engaged in learning? Amanda G.
A. Hi Amanda. Research shows that most students lose one month of learning over the summer and up to 2 1⁄2 months of mathematical skills! Most young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer break.
According to the National Summer Learning Association (www.summerlearning.org), decades of research shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer. Failing to practice literacy skills may lead to particular challenges when school starts again in the fall.
What can parents do at home?
There’s lots you can do to help your kids maintain much of their learning during the summer break.
First, foster a love of reading. Learning happens best when the child is engaged and interested.
- Ask your child’s teacher for recommended reading.
- All kinds of reading counts – graphic novels, magazine articles, websites and ebooks. Kids should read what they enjoy.
- Check out websites like www.readkiddoread.com and www.guysread.com.
- See what your local public library has planned for summer.
- Read daily with your child and discuss, analyze and enjoy.
Second, explore math in everyday life. Math can be fun and relevant.
- Count everything you come across – ducks, cars, clouds, ants, etc.
- Cook and bake using lots of measuring tools.
- When driving, talk about speed, distance, mileage, gas prices, etc.
- Money is math. Explore coins as fractions of a dollar. If your child receives an allowance, do a budget.
- Incorporate games involving numbers and math into playtime — from flash cards for learning basic math facts to board games involving money, time, and logic.