Summer Slide: Effective Solutions to Counter It
July 26, 2021
For children, summertime equals fun. Yet, those two vacation months have a considerable impact on the knowledge retention of students. Your child could slowly forget what he or she learned over the school year and experience what is commonly referred to as the “summer slide.” Here are a few tips on how to help your child retain what was learned in school.
What’s the Summer Slide?
The summer slide can be defined as a lack of learning that occurs over the summer break when children are less frequently stimulated. In some cases, it may even represent an important decline in the academic skills acquired during the school year. This widely spread phenomenon doesn’t affect all students equally. A child’s environment greatly influences knowledge retention. It’s therefore important to remain attentive to limit the potential repercussions of the summer slide.
What Negative Impacts Can the Summer Slide Have on my Child?
The detrimental effects of the summer slide can take place on the short and long term. On the short term, it means having to catch up at the beginning of the school year. On the long term, children who have fallen behind may have to repeat a grade or class. For some teenagers, dropping out becomes the only alternative in the face of a significant learning gap with most students.
The extraordinary school environment caused by COVID-19 has also aggravated learning loss. Researchers estimate that, this year, students will remember only 50 to 70% of the material taught (Kuhfeld and Tarasawa, 2020). Moreover, 70% of teachers in Quebec were worried about their students’ achievement in reading at the beginning of the 2020 school year, and 67% regarding writing (Turcotte, Giguère and Prévost, 2021). That’s why it’s recommended to act quickly to limit the impacts of learning loss in students.
What to Do to Prevent Learning Loss in Children?
Parents: Important Allies
Parents are at the forefront when it comes to beating the summer slide. Their involvement allows for a learning-friendly environment, by multiplying the opportunities of being exposed to educational resources and enrichment activities. Such an environment fosters learning during vacation months and should ideally be maintained throughout the year.
Here are a few suggestions of activities to do with your child to practise reading, writing, comprehension, communication and mathematics over the summer:
- Sign up for scholastic activities at Sépaq’s national parks.
- Plan a cultural outing at the museum or theatre.
- Practise related competencies: conducting a scientific experiment, gardening, trying a new recipe, crafting, etc.
- Read outside under a tree or in a treehouse: look at the book-sharing boxes (e.g., Croque-livres) near you or borrow a book at your local library.
- Discover new educational podcasts.
- Use drives as opportunities to identify objects on the road corresponding to specific sounds or letters of the alphabet to work on vocabulary.
- Reinvent popular games to review the past year’s curriculum, e.g., adapting hopscotch to practise additions and subtractions.
- Play online games on rainy days.
- Use each outing, trip or activity as an opportunity to create a poster, write an essay or do an oral presentation.
- After having watched a movie or read a book, ask your child to summarize the narrative structure.
Academic Support Professionals Can Help
Running out of solutions despite your efforts at home? You can tell your child still has difficulties? There are professionals that can help you find the solution best suited to your child.
We’re an organization that offers tutoring, remedial education and speech therapy services across Quebec; we can offer academic support adapted to your child’s overall situation. We have summer classes that go over the curriculum taught during the year with additional exercises, lectures and projects. Our tutors also introduce the following year’s curriculum. Classes are available in two formats:
- Individual classes: online or in-home depending on your availability. With individual classes, we can specifically target your child’s difficulties and work on the goals that weren’t fully achieved during the year.
- Group classes: online for primary school and high school students. Classes are held Monday to Friday, for 90 minutes each day. You can choose which weeks you want to sign up your child for. During classes, your child will be put in a small group with students of the same academic level. Classes mainly focus on mathematics and French.
The summer slide can cause serious consequences that require a quick intervention. Be attentive to your child’s needs and, mostly, don’t hesitate to ask for help if you feel this is beyond your abilities!
Have a nice summer!
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