How to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

As the long summer break begins, find out how to keep your child’s ‘Summer Learning Loss’ at bay. Here we discuss what this phenomenon means and how you can stop it in its tracks this year.

What is Summer Learning Loss?

Each year, during the summer holiday, months of effort and learning risk being diminished due to students simply forgetting the knowledge they have built up over the previous academic year. This can cause some students to fall behind, and forces teachers to eat into invaluable class time by re-teaching forgotten material.

This phenomenon, while widely recognised by educationalists is largely ignored by the common school structure, which leaves pupils academically unstimulated for weeks on end, reducing opportunities for academic growth, or even sustainment. Summer Learning Loss is even more notable in children under 10, as they lack the independence to engage in social learning encounters such as work experience, volunteering, and basic day-to-day outings.

It is also important to remember holidays are a time for resting and recharging young brains so it is essential to find a balance between keeping your child’s summer break relaxing and fun and keeping their mind stimulated ahead of the next academic year.

Top Ten Tips for Preventing Summer Learning Loss

 

1. Challenge them to a reading contest

Encouraging your child to read will allow them to improve their spelling, literacy, and vocabulary skills. Involving your child in their own learning will make it more fun: take them to the library and let them choose their own books. Even better, challenge them to a reading contest – the winner gets an ice cream!

 

2. Encourage their story-writing

A great pairing to reading, help your child develop their literacy skills. You could even use one of the books they have been reading as a starting point; ask them to write a letter from one character to another, or a different ending to the story. Watch as you unleash their imagination.

 

3. Stimulate their mind with puzzles

Maths and spelling have been found to be the areas of greatest regression in terms of Summer Learning Loss. With this in mind, keep your child stimulated with Sudoku puzzles, impromptu Scrabble matches, and times table practice while laying the table. Let the puzzles commence!

 

4. Be creative and make it sociable

Creative or educational afternoons with other children can also be great ways to offset Summer Learning Loss. Playing Monopoly, acting out a scene from a play, or even inventing a new game to play outside provide fun opportunities to incite new friendships and develop learning skills.

 

5. Don’t be afraid to use technology

A new Harvard study shows that when it comes to conceptions of space and time, tablets and iPads with a pinch-in zoom feature actually improve learning, with results visible within the first twenty minutes of use. Downloading a science game or space simulation can cultivate their spatial reasoning.

 

6. Call upon a summer tutor

Formal tuition with a tutor, or attendance at a summer school supports your child in a more structured manner during the summer. If choosing this path, it is best to set apart a few hours in the morning for tuition, thus establishing a routine which will preserve time for relaxation in the afternoon. Many families also to choose to take a holiday tutor with them – an investment which will help protect a year’s learning and set the child up for a successful year.

 

7. Take advantage of your family holiday

Holiday trips are also excellent ways to incorporate learning opportunities into your child’s summer. Be sure to plan educational trips to either museums or historical sites, where you could take a tour in the foreign language they are learning. Additionally, you could ask your child to order in a local café or restaurant to maintain their language skills. Even converting money from pounds to euros, and vice versa, presents the perfect opportunity to brush up on mathematics.

 

8. Use the End of Term Report for guidance

End of term reports spell out an essential ‘to do’ list of activities you can help your child with over the summer. If you are not convinced that their comments are detailed enough, or you think the report may have gaps, then don’t be afraid to ask the teachers about it. If you are still unsure, we offer Academic Assessments which give a bespoke, tailored personal assessment for your child.

 

9. Be careful not to over-do-it

Finally, one of the most important things to take away is that summer should be a time for children to relax. Fighting Summer Learning Loss is not a way to put any more pressure on your child, it is merely a time to keep their minds stimulated before returning to school in September.

 

10. Have fun

Above all, the summer break is a time for you and your child to have fun. Introducing a new set of fun activities into your family’s routine will revitalise your summer whilst keeping your child ahead of the game before the academic year, where they deserve to be.

If you’re searching for a tutor this summer, Simply Learning are at hand to help.

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