Avoiding Summer Learning Loss

When the school year ends, many students are occupied during the long summer months with camps, swimming, rec programs and vacations to the shore. What many parents don’t understand, however, is that students experience a phenomenon called “summer learning loss.” Essentially, they forget a lot of what they learned during the school year over the summer months. In fact, studies have shown students lose an average of over two and a half months worth of math skills in the summer and an average of one month in other subjects. This is why teachers spend the first couple of months of the school year reviewing the previous year’s curriculum; students who were already laboring to keep up will start off the next school year struggling even more.

What happens during the summer months?   When learning occurs, the synapses in the brain strengthen their connection in the areas of learning. Summer comes and students stop exercising their brains, those synaptic connections start to loosen. Think of athletes: if they stopped training for two to three months, they would experience a lag in performance upon return to their sport. The brain is no different; it needs to be exercised.   If a student works on reading, language and/or math skills over the summer he/she can continue to make progress so that when school starts in September, there will be a marked improvement and those synapses will be strong and tight.

How can you keep your students learning over the summer? Here are a few ideas.

  • Use educational workbooks – These are available at most book stores, and geared toward different grades. Have your child do an hour each day.
  • Visit a library – Find some books with topics that are interesting so that your student is engaged in reading.
  • Enroll in summer tutoring with Tutor Doctor of North Jersey. For students who are struggling academically, summer can be the perfect time to create a customized tutoring program to help them catch up.
  • Get a jump start on next year’s classes! The summer is a great time for ALL students to start on the classes they will have in September. Tutor Doctor specializes in working with teens who want to get that competitive edge by preparing lessons that will introduce your student to the upcoming year’s curriculum.
    These ideas will help your students build more confidence, preparing them to start the new school year on top of their game!