Summer Learning Loss
Individuals, regardless of background, age, or aptitude, exhibit deterioration of skills after prolonged periods of inactivity of the skill. Research from the mid-1950s to the present consistently confirms this idea. Depending on the task, level of initial proficiency, and duration of inactivity, human beings forget skills and knowledge over time. In terms of summer breaks from school, we call this the “Summer Learning Loss”.
Most students exhibit losses in math and literacy skills as a result of summer vacation each school year. Given the multi-step procedural process of many math skills, proficiency in math tends to decrease at a faster rate for students than literacy. There are devastating impacts of summer learning loss on student achievement to the individual child, as well to the schools as a whole since teachers need significant time at the beginning of each school year to mitigate these effects—time that could otherwise be spent on new instruction.
Summer learning loss typically has students performing, on average, approximately one month behind where they left off the previous school year.
Making Summer Count
There have been various studies conducted that give solutions to combat Summer Learning Loss. RAND Education’s research report, Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning (the RAND report hereafter), was commissioned by The Wallace Foundation to explore the following questions:
- What is the extent of summer learning loss for students?
- Can summer learning programs both improve student achievement and reduce summer learning loss?
- What are the elements of effective summer learning programs?
- What are the challenges and facilitators to implementing effective summer learning programs?
According to this report, the research is clear that summer learning programs can reduce or eliminate the effects of summer learning loss. Regular attendance in effective summer learning programs have the ability to improve literacy and math skills for students, foster social skills in students, improve relationships between adults and students, and combat the effects of summer learning loss. Following are some of the major findings from studies that evaluated outcomes associated with summer learning programs:
- The average academic benefit to students outpaced the effects of summer learning loss. That is, participation in the examined summer learning programs helped students maintain or improve their skills and achievement levels relative to the average loss associated with summer.
- The longer a student participated in the program, the higher a student scored on fall reading tests.
Read the full Report here:
Our goal at Tutoring…With A Twist* is to help combat Summer Learning Loss. We do this through various Summer Programs that we offer.
Please contact us to learn more about what Summer Program that might be right for your child.
*Services provided by With a Twist Education Ltd.