Attention, Parents: What Summer Learning Loss Means For Your Children
It’s the end of June, the weather is warm and kids all over the country have waited all year for summer break. Sitting through classes, taking exams and facing evenings filled with homework is over for the next three months. Woohoo! But what can this time away from school really mean for our children?
In the late 1800s, when public schools began to become prevalent, summer vacation was a necessity for families. Much of America still relied on local farmers for the lion’s share of produce and commerce. So, during peak farming season, children were released from school to help out. Though times have changed since then, summer vacation still exists. This period away from school leaves children to their own devices for almost three months out of the year, which often results in summer learning loss.
What is summer learning loss?
Summer learning loss occurs over summer vacation when parents and children don’t encounter educational opportunities. Summer vacation has been shown to cause an average loss of two months of learning across the population, and this figure can be as high as three months in some areas.
While two to three months of learning loss over a summer does not sound too bad in theory, research spanning more than 100 years shows that students typically score much lower on standardized tests by the end of the summer than they do at the beginning.
How to prevent the summer brain drain
Play educational trivia: Nothing will get your kids motivated to learn this summer quite like a bit of friendly, competitive trivia. FreeKIGames.com has a wide variety of educational trivia challenges across a range of topics like spelling, book quotes, chemical elements, vocabulary and more. Have your kids challenge their siblings (and maybe even you!) to see who knows more.
Visit the library: Making a trip to your local library once a week to allow your child to pick out one of their favorite books is a great educational treat. A bonus is that most libraries offer summertime events and book clubs, helping further your kid’s love for reading.
Daily math challenges: While math may not be their favorite subject, offering a “daily math challenge” that your kids must complete before, say, they are able to go over to a friend’s house, is a surefire way to prevent those math skills from getting rusty.
Journal as a family: Encourage creative writing while building grammar and spelling skills by journaling with your child daily. By letting his or her imagination run wild on paper, you’re improving your child’s written language skills one topic at a time.
Though these are just a few fun ways to keep your kids sharp this summer, it’s important to make time for learning every day. Summer learning loss is a real thing and it’s up to us as parents to prevent it!