Research shows that if students fail to stay mentally engaged and active over the summer months, they could lose up to three months of academic progress. To prevent this from happening, students need ongoing opportunities to learn, according to educators. On the same note, the National Summer Learning Association says a six-week educational program is the most effective way of preventing summer learning loss. However, these programs are not always feasible or easily accessible for families. Still, families can use other proven strategies to tackle the summer slide. Below is a detailed look at some of these strategies.
Make Time for Reading
Set aside some time every day for your student to read. This will not only help your child avoid summer learning loss, but also develop better reading habits. What’s more, research shows that children who read four or more books over the summer generally do better on comprehension tests compared to kids who read one, or no books during the same period. Some of the things you can do to maintain some structure include reading together, incorporating reading in everyday activities, encouraging your child to join a book club, and taking your child to a local library at least once every week to check out new books. These activities will help your child strengthen and improve his/her reading and comprehension skills. To get the most out of these activities and avoid potential resistance, ensure you keep them simple and consistent.
Improve Reading Comprehension
In addition to reading skills, ensure your student improves his/her reading comprehension skills as well. To achieve this goal, you can get your child a reading comprehension workbook to work on for about 15 minutes every day. To help students develop their inference-making and fact-retaining skills, reading comprehension workbooks use various teaching aids including high-interest stories and self-quizzes.
Practice Math/ Develop Math Skills
You can help your child improve his/her math skills and preserve what he/she learned during the previous school year, encourage your child to solve at least three math problems every day during the summer months. If your child does not enjoy math, you can various strategies and resources, including practice workbooks, online resources, board games and hands-on projects, to make the task fun and enjoyable. For instance, when shopping, you can help you child calculate discounts or change. Similarly, you can use activities such as cooking or building projects to explain different match concepts to your child. Math-focused stories, such as the Family Math series can also help your child improve his/her math skills and prevent summer math loss, according to recent studies.
Get a Private Tutor
While it’s not difficult to implement a reading schedule for your child, developing math skills can be more challenging. One parent in Chino Hills said “I got good grades in math when I was a kid, but I look at algebra now and I’m lost! We had my daughter sit with a private tutor once a week last summer, and she improved by a full letter grade the next school year.”
Go on Educational Field Trips
Educations field trips, such as field trips to art and history museums, offer myriad learning opportunities related to different subjects including math, geography, history and social studies. Because of this, your child will not only benefit from mutual discussions about the field trips, but also from reading and writing stories about these field trips.
Encourage Creative Writing
Creative writing is one of the best ways to help your child avoid summer learning loss. To make creative writing fun, have your child write about activities his/she enjoy. Encourage your child to write at least one creative paragraph every week. While at it, encourage him/her to keep a journal and update it regularly. If your child is reluctant, you can start with a relatively simple task such as writing a letter to an out-of-town friend. One the other hand, if your child enjoys reading and writing, you can ask him or her to read a book and write a review.
The tips discussed above can not only help prevent summer learning loss, but also help your child prepare for the new school year.