By Luke Scrutton
How much school work will your children forget over the summer holidays ?
Yes, I know, the summer holidays are not here yet and I’m thinking about the new school year. This is because the period between the end of the summer term and the start of the new school year is vitally important in helping your child achieve the grades they want and deserve.
Educational professionals know that our long summer school holidays lead to a “summer slump,” where students forget some of what they learned over the school year. What does the evidence say about summer learning loss.
There is no one straight answer to the question of how much will my child forget over the summer? A systematic review of 39 studies published in 1996 found summer loss equals about one month of classroom learning, and students tended to regress more in maths skills compared to reading skills. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1170523?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
A 2007 study by John Hopkins University examined data from a nationally-representative sample. They found the achievement gap at year 10 mainly traces back to differences in summer learning activities during years 2 to 6. Those that undertook some form of continued learning during the summer break forgot less than those that didn’t. A 2011 study found students can lose up to two grade levels of reading skills due to summer reading loss by the time they reach year 7.Now that’s a lot!
What can I do to reduce how much my child forgets ?
The evidence clearly demonstrates that summer learning loss is a problem So, what are the solutions?
Harvard University published a study in 2013 that found summer holiday reading activities for children in year 1 through to year 9 improved reading abilities. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0034654313483906
In a study published in June 2017, 6 and 7 year-olds who participated in a structured reading program at their local YMCA showed no signs for summer reading loss.
Children do forget skills and knowledge learned in the previous school year. But if families and educators encourage children to stay engaged in learning throughout the summer, students may not only maintain, but improve their knowledge.
Now is the time to start thinking about a summer learning scheme for your children. Whether you play maths games on a car journey trying to calculate how many miles are left or are using online resources such as OxfordOwl.com ,joeyGreen.com or TopMarks.co.uk remember to keep it fun. Children learn so much more when they are enjoying what they are doing.
You might also consider having a look at how Genie Tutors can help reverse the summer slump. Genie Tutors is open though out the summer holidays and can provide your children with an hour a week of maths and English tuition to help them keep on top of their academic achievements and give them a good start for the new school year.
Think about it – how are you going to help your children this summer?