Every adult can recount the happiness of summer break. Even easier to remember is the hazy, trying-to-remember feeling that one would get come September. After a few months of vacation, kids often forget the things they were taught in school before the summer holidays began.
What Exactly Is Summer Learning Loss?
When a child or teen’s brain is left inactive and unchallenged for an extended period of time, they can begin to lose previously known information and skills. When school starts back up again, many kids struggle to relearn basic mathematical formulas and other important educational knowledge.
Students (and their teachers) then have to struggle for up to six weeks in the fall semester to catch up and start new material.
How Are Children Affected?
During the school year, kids are actively and consistently learning new information and skills. When this intensive learning is halted during the summer months, children can face serious issues later on.
Children who have experienced repetitive summer learning loss can end up at least two years behind their classmates. And high school students who experience summer learning loss tend to earn and achieve less later on in life.
Tips to Combat Summer Learning Loss
Fortunately summer learning loss can be recognized and prevented with just 2-3 hours of brain stimulation a week. View our tips below for ideas on how to encourage kids and children to actively learn during the summer months.
Consider taking your kids to a local library or bookstore. Let them pick out the reading materials they are interested in. The key is to encourage your kids to learn all summer long without having them feel as if they are being forced into it.
Have Kids Play Outdoors
Although technology can help kids learn, when kids play outside they may interact more with their environment (as well as with other children). Having kids play outdoors encourages them to use their creativity and imagination, which actively encourages brain growth.
Go on ‘Field Trips’
Take your kids on nature walks or to museums, plays, and other local attractions. Not only will they love visiting new places, they will think about their ‘field trips’ with you for weeks to come.
Watch Educational T.V
If you know your kids are going to watch T.V while you’re at work during the day, encourage them to watch educational channels like National Geographic. Suggest shows like Planet Earth or Bill Nye the Science Guy that are fun and educational.
Take your Kids Shopping
You might find that taking your kids to the grocery store is more of a hassle than anything else. However, actively encouraging your kids to help you buy groceries can improve their social skills and math skills, as well as their awareness about food and health.
Take your kids to the vegetable aisle and let them pick out healthy food options. When you get to the cash register, use cash to pay and teach them about counting bills and using money.
Summer Learning Programs
A great way to keep your kids busy in the summer while combating summer learning loss is to enroll them in a summer learning program. Look for one that combines summer fun with an educational focus.
Fortunately summer learning loss can be easily reversed.
Oxford Learning is Canada’s leading supplemental educator – providing tutoring programs unlike any other, to help ignite your child’s interest in learning for a lifetime.” For more information about kids and summer learning programs visit Oxford Learning and for even more information about summer learning loss check out the infographic.