It’s no doubt that the summer period holds the longest holidays for children. Hence, it’s a period for them to pull back from school activities, relax and have some fun. This is when the experience what we refer to as summer learning loss or summer slide.
However, while children are unwinding from school activities, it’s quite saddening to know that their brain is naturally undergoing a process. It’s a process of letting go of a lot of information that they have gathered during the school period.
Summer learning loss.
It’s quite easy to understand what the summer learning loss is and I’ll explain using this very simple saying, “what you leave, leaves you.” That’s it! The moment children stop learning, (most especially during an academic break) they start to lose most of the things that they’ve learned. WHY?
According to Wikipedia, Summer learning loss, or summer slide, is the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer vacation in countries that have long breaks in the school year, such as the US and Canada. Schools see evidence of this because students are often given a standardized test prior to the summer break and again when they return to school in the fall.
With that said, let’s take a quick look at the dangers of the summer slide.
Dangers Of Summer Learning Loss.
A recent study of children in 3rd to 5th grades showed that on average, students lose about 20 percent of their school-year gains in reading and 27 percent of their school-year gains in math during summer break.
Considering the amount of effort that was put into learning, this is a very huge loss. It’s very bad because no child would be happy to lose what he or she has learned in school.
More work for the students immediately after resumption.
When students eventually resume back to school, a lot of effort has to be put into reawakening their memories which must have gone to sleep during the break. Intensive revision has to take place, else students will find it hard to comprehend the new topics that need to be treated in school.
Students need to spend about 3-6 weeks going over old materials before they can go ahead with the current term’s work. That would require a lot of time and effort!
Poor Academic Performance.
While some students will find it easy to catch up within six weeks, others won’t! Going over the previous term’s work as well as proceeding into the current term’s work can become overwhelming for some students.
As a result of this, many would find it difficult to keep up with an average academic performance.
How to avoid the dangers of the summer slide.
Losing knowledge is not the fault of any child. As long as there’s a summer break there’ll always be a summer slide. However, some measures can be taken to prevent students from losing so much during the summer break.
1) indulge in a lot of reading.
Reading keeps the brain active. It also helps children to learn, explore, and find areas of interest. Reading is an amazing way to spend time during the summer period because it can be done right at home! Thanks to the internet, anyone can get access to thousands of books with just a single click.
2) Get a tutor.
It’s necessary that students have tutors by their sides during the summer break. Tutors help students to revise what they have been taught in the previous academic session and to also prepare for the coming academic sessions. When students are engaged with tutors during the summer break, it helps them to be super ready for the next academic session!
3) Watch educational movies.
It might be difficult to get students to read or co-operate with their tutors during the summer period, but it shouldn’t be hard to get them to watch movies. However, the movies that students are advised to watch during the summer period are the ones that can help them learn even while they are being entertained. It could be movies about history, documentaries, or even movies that teach good characters.
4) Summer Programs.
Summer programs are special programs created to help students explore new interests, learn new skills, acquire more knowledge, get ready for the next academic year, and do so much more!
GATE Academy has a summer program tagged, ASPIRE 3.0. To find out more, click this link.
No matter what, students should not be left to spend the whole of summer playing alone. They are expected to engage in learning, no matter how small in order to avoid summer learning loss.