Learning Loss and the Summer Slide
The progress your student makes during the school year is important for their educational journey. Stride Learning Solutions can help combat summer learning loss and make sure your child is ready for the year ahead.
What is the Summer Slide?
Summer slide is a term used to describe the learning loss that occurs during long school breaks, such as over summer vacation. Throughout these months away from the formal classroom, students of all ages lose as much as 27% of their school-year gains in certain subjects.1
This significant decrease in their educational retention rate compounds year after year, making it more difficult for students to keep up and sending them into their next grade level at a disadvantage.
This is a substantial challenge that teachers, parents, and school administrators encounter every year. At the end of the school year, educational leaders try to curate an environment that reduces learning loss over summer breaks. They also try to reverse its effects at the beginning of the school year, taking time that could be spent expanding into new subjects.
How to Avoid the Summer Slide
Consciously striving to provide learning opportunities throughout the summer can help keep academic skills sharp. Students of all ages can benefit from some continued learning techniques that will help them retain the information they learned in school.
Online Summer School
One of the best ways to prevent summer slide is to enroll your student in summer school learning programs that help them feel confident and prepared for the new school year. We offer a huge collection of classes to capture their interests and promote critical thought.
Keep It Interesting
Even without the formality of a classroom, students can still learn. Encourage continued learning during the summer break with unique subject matter that interests your student. Topics could focus on less academic subjects like social emotional learning, an aspect of education with significant benefits.
Use Smart Play Techniques
Puzzles and games are an excellent way to help children enjoy and continue learning. Whether it’s a Stride Skills Arcade game geared toward teaching specific skills or a refresher activity for a specific topic, look for ways to incorporate a bit of fun into summer learning.
Take Learning Outside
Novelty stimulates the brain and promotes learning—so take lessons outside the home. Visit the park to discuss nature, a museum to investigate painting, or enroll in summer camp. Learning in interactive environments can drastically improve retention, especially when paired with topics of interest.
An expansive curriculum provides great support for stimulating a child’s imagination. Whether in elementary, middle, or high school, experimenting with new concepts and engaging in thought-provoking discussions can help prevent summer learning loss.
Teachers and parents can work together to encourage students for better comprehension. Plenty of parent/child interaction is also important. A collaborative approach can help students grasp more challenging topics with greater retention.
Who is affected by the summer slide?
Summer learning slide is a nearly universal challenge. Students of all ages experience a decline in academic skills during school breaks, with the most significant loss occurring during long breaks like those in the summer and winter. Younger children in their prime developmental years tend to be the most affected by the summer slide. Throughout childhood, learning follows a curve-and-plateau structure, with the greatest amount of acceleration occurring during the elementary years. Without frequent practice, knowledge gained during those formative years—such as decoding, letter recognition, reading, and math—is susceptible to learning loss. Children from low-income families are also disproportionately affected by summer learning loss well into their educational years. Small differences in learning throughout the summer months add up quickly, creating a summer learning gap that is substantially larger at the end of the school year. These differences in summer learning can account for achievement-related inequities in high school placement, high school dropout rates, and four-year college attendance rates.2
COVID-19 Summer Slide
Many students have experienced a modified version of the summer slide experience with the phenomenon of the COVID-19 slide. In March of 2020, the majority of brick-and-mortar schools shut down, halting traditional education overnight.
With schools struggling to maintain consistent structures for learning environments due to quarantine protocols and evolving circumstances, students are suffering the effects of something that could be even more serious than the summer learning gap. Intervention to prevent the further compounding of this learning loss is essential for students’ success.
Set Students Up for Success
Ready to get ahead of the summer slide and get back on track after pandemic-related learning loss? Discover the power of Stride Learning Solutions online summer programs and the success of customized schooling. To learn more, contact us online or call 844.638.3533.