Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening, according to recent studies. As noted in this article from U.S. News and World Report, summer break in the United States could be contributing to a loss of knowledge that sets our children back academically.
The summer learning loss
Studies show that students can lose the equivalent of one month of learning per year as a result of our especially lengthy summer breaks. This loss of learning particularly affects children who already struggle to keep up in school, including students with special needs and low-income students who do not have access to additional educational resources.
Year after year, this knowledge loss adds up and if teachers don’t re-teach lessons from the previous year’s curriculum, students can fall behind before the school year even ramps up.
In some cases, this loss of learning can create or exacerbate behavioral problems; it can also set students back in their learning and result in the need for more assistance.
What can parents do to help their child?
To counteract or minimize the negative impact that long summer breaks can have on students, parents can help them stay engaged in educational opportunities. This can include:
- Summer camps
- Reading programs
- Trips to museums, theaters and nature centers
- At-home projects that utilize math, reading or reasoning skills
- Neighborhood play groups
- Summertime school activities
These and other opportunities can help reduce the adverse impact that summer can have on students’ learning.
Unfortunately, many children face academic setbacks and struggles, regardless of the activities in which they participate during the summer. In these situations, it is crucial for parents to examine the options and resources available to their child once they do return to school. With appropriate attention and tools, students across Florida can receive the education they deserve.