With summer comes the end of school for students in not just North Carolina, but all over the nation. From each week on at this point, educators are saying goodbye to their students for the year and wrapping up their lessons.
However, as the lazy summer days approach and despite all of their achievements this year, students risk ‘summer learning loss,’ or losing much of what they’ve learned during the school year.
Decades of research confirm that summer learning loss is real. In an article published by The New York Times, Jeff Smink says, “If students are not engaged in learning over the summer, they lose skills in math and reading. Summers off are one of the most important, yet least acknowledged, causes of underachievement in our schools.”
Smirk sums it up when he says, “We cannot afford to spend nearly 10 months of every year devoting enormous amounts of intellect, energy, and money to promoting student learning and achievement, and then walk away from that investment every summer.” That’s why it’s crucial students remain engaged and continue learning throughout their summer vacations.
“We cannot afford to spend nearly 10 months of every year devoting enormous amounts of intellect, energy, and money to promoting student learning and achievement, and then walk away from that investment every summer.”
Decades of research confirm that summer learning loss is real. According to a recent report by the RAND Corporation, the average summer learning loss in math and reading for American students amounts to one month per year! This waste is preventable. According to the RAND report, good summer programs with individualized instruction, parental involvement and small classes can keep children from falling behind and reduce the achievement gap.
Below, we’ve highlighted a few ways to keep students engaged.
- Take a moment to explore your surroundings.
Whether you’re at the zoo or a park, take a moment to read plaques, signs, and everything else. Ask questions. Take a moment to Google the places you visit beforehand. Afterwards, go to your local library and check out books on those places to learn more.
- Incorporate math into everyday tasks.
Mathematics are all around us: at the restaurant we just ate at, behind the game of catch we’re playing with our friends, in the software running our iPhones. The list goes on and on. Ask students how much their lunch will cost. Ask them what angle they need to throw a football at to get it to their friend. Helping students realize that math is all around us keeps them on their toes and their math skills sharp throughout the summer.
- Feed and encourage students’ natural curiosity.
Students are naturally curious about the world. If they express an interest in something, encourage them to explore it! Have them visit the local library and check out books about their newfound interests. See if there are any events going on that might be exciting. What about YouTube videos or podcasts? Encourage students to Google their interests and see where the results take them.
- Get students working with a tutor over the course of the summer.
Students who engage in pre-learning exercises with a tutor not only have the advantage of walking into a classroom with more preparation and ready to start the school year in the fall, but they’ve seen the first few months of material and are going to be way ahead of their peers. This means easy A’s, and a great start to the school year.
Preventing summer learning loss is easy to do, and will benefit your student in so many ways. Choose one or more of the activities above, and you will see the results in the fall! If you need more information or would like to schedule time with a tutor, please call Biltmore Tutoring at (828) 505-2495 or contact us via this link!