4 Ways You Can Prevent Summer Learning Loss
Summer learning loss (sometimes called summer “brain drain”) is a prevalent phenomenon amongst high school-aged students. But it can happen with college students, too.
Away from the structure of a classroom or online class, students may start to forget concepts they learned in the past year. Psychologists and researchers theorize that the reason for summer backslide is an abrupt lack of access to learning materials; during the school year, students may freely access school libraries, teachers and other resources that are nowhere to be found come summer.
Whatever the reason for summer learning loss, it can be frustrating to watch as a parent. According to a study out of Harvard, students lose roughly two-and-a-half months of learning over the summer in math alone. What can parents do to help prevent this learning loss and ensure that their kids hit the ground running once school resumes in the fall?
Here are four ways you can prevent summer learning loss.
Attend Flexible Online Summer School
The best way to prevent summer learning loss is to enroll your teenager in online summer school, where they can continue their education in a flexible, self-paced environment.
Because online summer school doesn’t require physical attendance, nor does it entail set hours for learning, students are free to enjoy their summer while they learn. It’s an ideal solution to an old problem: how to keep kids learning through the summer while still giving them room to rest.
You can target certain subjects you feel your teen could benefit from – for instance, mathematics – or enroll in several courses.
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Get Teens Interested in Reading
Build reading and discussion into your family time. Try reading the same books as your teens and taking time to discuss the themes and imagery you find in the text.
If your teen is more of a solitary reader, ensure they have unrestricted access to the library, where they can practice self-guidance in their reading. It doesn’t matter if they steer clear of the literary canon during summer. Fantasy series, sci-fi novels and even graphic novels still exercise critical thinking and vocabulary acquisition skills.
Use Vacations as an Excuse to Learn About Culture
Family vacations don’t have to be a vacation from learning. Holidays abroad (or in one’s own country) are a fantastic opportunity for learning about different cultures.
Visit local museums and art galleries to absorb the history and culture of a destination. Sign up for guided tours of historical landmarks or natural areas. And make an effort, as a family, to learn some of the local language. While it may not represent conventional education, these steps help stimulate young learners’ minds.
Get Creative with the Math Lessons
Finally, get creative with mathematics. Of all the subjects, math can be the most difficult to integrate organically into your teen’s summer schedule. But it’s not impossible.
If they’ve shown a newfound interest in shopping (what teens haven’t!), encourage them to calculate expenditure, taxes and tipping as a way to exercise their mathematic muscles. Or, suggest attending an escape room as a leisure activity so that they can work on their logic and problem-solving skills.
Don’t let a little sunshine dry up all that learning your kid has done this past year. Enroll in an online summer school, encourage reading, do a deep dive into different cultures and get creative with math activities. Once the fall rolls around, your teen can return to class without missing a stride.