Summer learning loss or summer slide is weighing on our minds heavier than ever right now. Many students and teachers have struggled to meet academic goals all year due to the pandemic. You may be worrying that playing catch up next year will be harder if your child also has to overcome the summer slide.
Understanding the Problem
Learning loss over summer isn’t a new problem. For more than 100 years, educators have known that students forget academic knowledge and skills during summer vacation. According to the researcher Harris Cooper, children lose on average one month of reading and language arts skills and up to two months of math skills every summer if they don’t participate in educationally enriching summer activities or programs. There is widespread concern that COVID learning loss could compound this problem.
Even though public schools design their curriculum with summer learning loss in mind, many students still suffer long-term effects. A 25-year study by sociologist Karl Alexander and his team at John Hopkins University found that learning loss over the summer is linked to children’s long-term academic success. According to Alexander, “two-thirds of the ninth-grade academic achievement gap between disadvantaged youngsters and their more advantaged peers can be explained by what happens over the summer during the elementary school years.” Fortunately, you can prevent this lag in your child’s education.
Preventing Summer Slide
Summer learning loss is preventable. Children who participate in enriching educational activities throughout the summer are less likely to experience learning loss. Instead of falling behind, they pull ahead by building on what they’ve learned during the school year.
Enrolling your child in a summer program or camp is the most effective way to prevent learning loss over vacation. Studies suggest that five to six weeklong summer learning programs with small class sizes and individualized instruction have the most significant impact on children. In one prominent study, children who participated in engaging five to six-week summer programs outperformed their peers on math and English language arts (ELA) on standardized tests in the fall and spring. Even participating in your local public library’s summer reading program can improve children’s academic performance in the fall. Any opportunity for your child to use the knowledge they’ve gained over the school year and build on it can prevent summer learning loss.
Benefits of a Summer Program
Summer camps and programs also make learning fun! After a tough year when many children have felt invisible in class, a hands-on learning experience with one-on-one instruction can re-ignite their passion for learning.
Summer programs give children a unique opportunity to pursue their interests. Studies show that students who participate in art camps and arts programs are more motivated and engaged in school come the fall. Taking a math or science course over vacation can strengthen their interest in pursuing a STEM field. Fusion Academy offers a wide range of summer learning opportunities for middle school and high school-age kids. You can choose from over 250 summer classes for credit, as well as tutoring and mentorship experiences, individualized college prep sessions, or college admissions camps. We specialize in offering students one-on-one teaching that equips them with the educational, social, and emotional support they need to thrive next year.
We know that many students and parents are looking forward to the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Balancing work demands and virtual school amidst a pandemic has been exhausting. After you take a break to unwind, we hope you will find ways to enrich your child’s education over the summer. If you are interested in one of Fusion Academy’s summer programs, you can learn more here!