Check out our Feature in BC Parent Magazine’s Summer 2017 Issue
Eliminating ‘Summer Slide’
By Tara Haddad of Aspire Math Academy
After a long break from watching your favorite TV series, one thing remains constant; Preseason recaps are a necessity!
Students leave their classes in June to a summer of leisure and fun, only to return to school a few months later with no ‘preseason’ recap and significant content loss.
Even more alarming, a study in the Review of Educational Research found that students lose 2.6 months of Math content learned the previous year over the summer break.
What would this gap fall to if students participated in developmental activities throughout the summer? A study has shown that 2 to 3 weeks of an educational summer blitz would prevent the ‘Summer Slide’ of learning retention. Students would be ready to return to school, happy, confident and possibly even ahead of the curve. This problem is prevalent throughout the core subjects of Math and Reading/Writing. Students of all ages lose educational content during the summer break; however, this loss is more apparent in students at the elementary level. Research has found that elementary students do not have the long-term memory skills to allow them to retain academic facts for months without continual reinforcement.
In conclusion, what do we know? Students unconsciously disregard a significant amount of fundamental, scholastic skills over summer break. The traditional summer holiday breaks the rhythm of instruction, which contradicts the fact that children learn best when the educational material is presented continuously. The effects of ‘Summer Slide’ will accumulate unless mitigated by summer learning intervention. It is not just a problem for your child’s next school year; moreover, a problem that will persist throughout a student’s entire educational career.
The ‘Summer Slide’ is preventable and only takes 20 minutes per day, or 2 hours per week!
With some parental support students, should not have to experience this educational downturn. Results of a research synthesis conducted by Cooper et al. (2000) revealed that summer activities that focused on remedial, accelerated or enriched learning have a positive,
lasting impact on student education.
With summer right around the corner, here are some fun and effective ways to promote Summer learning and stop the ‘Summer Slide’ phenomenon:
–Register for Active Learning
Experiences: We live in an era of what we like to call “babysitting
camps”. Do your research and find an EDUCATIONAL DAY CAMP.
Educational camps are a great way to keep your child’s mind active and
engaged. They will serve as your child’s video recap of the previous year.
–Visit the local library frequently
Summer is a glorious time for all students to improve their reading
education because they have the freedom to choose the books they find
interesting. This is sure to keep your student engaged and reading
For struggling students, summer is the best time to provide your child
with direct instruction. Some school districts offer special remedial
programs during the summer. Alternatively, an educational organization can
facilitate your student’s specific needs with a personalized program plan.
–Summer Learning Contract
Help your student set summer learning goals. For students who
need a little extrinsic motivation, create an award system.
Give your child the opportunity to have a summer pen pal, whether it be a cousin in
a different province or a friend responding in character. The goal is to
have them put “pen to paper’ this summer break. Aspire Math Academy is
currently accepting new pens pals and will respond to all letters sent to
200-1497 Marine Drive, West Vancouver B.C. V7T 1B8. Other ways to
encourage writing are; keep a vacation journal, creative writing prompts, pass
out friendly notes around the neighborhood… be creative!
Tara Haddad is the Founder of Aspire Math Academy, where they are passionate about eliminating ‘Summer Slide’ learning loss throughout the community. They also have a
summer goal! They will provide any student in need of remedial learning to make an appointment with them to receive complimentary, academic consulting.