Did you know that students can lose up to 35% of academic progress over the summer break?
The ‘summer slide’ is what many refer to as the regression in learning that can happen over summer vacation. When students do not engage their minds over the summer, they risk losing some of the skills they learned during the school year. But don’t fear- there are many ways to prevent ‘the slide’!
Maryland Teacher Tutors provides a great Diagnostic service, wherein a certified teacher assesses your student’s grade-level skills and proficiency, and recommends a personalized learning plan. Parents can use the Diagnostic results to inform their best course of action for making sure their child is prepared for the next school year. This is a great way to keep kids engaged with important math and reading skills they will have to demonstrate after summer break. Reach out to our student solutions team here to learn more.
Maryland Teacher Tutors also offers virtual tutoring for all ages, ensuring that tutoring sessions are not disrupted while you travel this summer! This is great for check-ins to ensure that critical reading comprehension and foundational math skills are not slipping during the summer break.
There are many benefits to virtual one-to-one tutoring! If you are traveling often, or have a jam- packed schedule, virtual tutoring is an easy way to connect anywhere, anytime. Tutees have the option of recording tutoring sessions so that they can look back over material if they forget something between sessions, or wish to revisit a strategy learned during a session. Virtual tutoring is a more cost effective option than in person tutoring, and still provides a top-tier tutoring experience, allowing students to keep their skills sharp anywhere, anytime, with an expert educator.
Let’s skip ‘the Summer Slide’!
There are some easy and fun ways to academically engage students at home this summer! Keep reading to explore the main content areas affected by summer learning loss and how your student can benefit from summer skill reinforcement.
Would your child rather be doing anything other than reading a book over the summer? The key is to make reading engaging! Take a look at these summer reading activities that will inspire and motivate students:
- Most public libraries have a summer reading challenge. Check out your library to see what’s going on this summer! Some places even have trackers where students can win prizes. Nothing local? Check out this free summer program from Scholastic.
- Read fun books! Let your child read graphic novels – they still count as reading, and are often part of a series, keeping children motivated to continue! Is there a book series based on your child’s favorite television show? Or books they may not have time to read during the school year? Summer is the perfect time to read for fun! Don’t know where to start? Here is a list of great graphic novels for kids 6-12.
- Have a kid who loves watching movies? Try to find a book version of a movie (or one with a similar story line) and have them read it before watching the movie. Afterward, compare and contrast the movie to the book! Start here with a list of movies based on books.
- Read in a fun place. Think pillow forts, outside at night in a tent with a flashlight, on a bench at a park- anywhere different! Have your kids track their reading this summer with this chart and let them see all the progress they have made.
- Read a book about how to do or make something. Think crafts, cookbooks, learning a hobby, or building something – here’s a list to get your journey moving!
Each new school year, students move to a higher level of Math, so it’s critical that they form a strong understanding of each concept in order to succeed in learning new skills. We want our kids to maintain their math sharpness all summer long! Here are some ideas to help practice applicable real-world math skills :
- Let children set up a ‘store’ at home – it could be a pretend restaurant, grocery store, art gallery, etc. Ask them to price items, make change for purchases, and total the sum of multiple items. Young kids will benefit from just counting the items they “stock” in their store! Get some ideas here, and remember to have fun with it!
- Let your kids help with math while you run errands. They can count items, calculate how many more of an item that you need, use the scale at the grocery store, or even figure out the tax on items you buy. Here is a practice page on multiplying percentages before calculating tax.
- Play number games! Many common games often involve adding, subtracting, and knowing which values are greater or less than, which are all skills our students need practice with over the summer. Here are some examples with a simple deck of cards. There are also board games, we have so many games off this list that have become family favorites.
- Bring math to the beach! Get a big beach ball and write math problems (at the level of your learner) on it- then play catch! Wherever the catcher’s hands land on the ball, they have to correctly complete the math problem written. Give a prize to the player who completes the most equations correctly! Take a look!
If your kids do more texting than writing during the summer, and then teachers give them a pencil in September, it can be a rude awakening! Let’s keep those writing muscles strong this summer. Check out these fun writing ideas:
- Encourage kids to write a letter to a friend or family member.
- Show them how to keep a journal about the summer.
- Ask them to write a story about a trip you go on.
- Get a wordless book (yes, it’s a thing! here is a list of wordless books) and have them write the story.
Yes, screen time in the summer is ok! Hear me out. I feel strongly about using technology the right way. That means I don’t want my kids mindlessly on their iPad for hours when they could be playing in the sunshine. However, there are ways for kids to engage with technology that benefit, rather than rot, young minds. Here are some engaging and creative ways to get kids thinking:
- Teach them to code! Set up free accounts for your kids on Scratch or Code.org. You do not need to know how to code! There are many tutorials for kids on both these sites and they can pick up a lot of skills rather quickly.
- Have them become a typing master. Typing Club has a free program that kids can use at home to learn touch typing, a skill that they will all be thankful to have one day.
- Let kids be creative with their tech. That may look like letting them create graphics, videos, blogs, gifs, games, pictures, digital storytelling or more! Research the apps they want to use first- Common Sense Media is a great resource for reviews on what kids are into. Here is the brilliant part- when you let kids pick a creative project they are interested in, they often they do it well!
Summer is time for fun!
No matter how you choose to keep your child academically engaged this summer, make sure there is time for lots of fun in the sun. Everyone needs a break and time to recharge. We don’t want kids disengaging from all reading, writing and math for the summer because it makes for a hard transition back to the classroom in September. A little learning in the summer goes a long way in the fall.
Tiffany Verhoosel is currently a Computer Science teacher in the Baltimore City School District. Coming from a background of business she joined the Baltimore City Teaching Residency over ten years ago to make the career change into education and has never looked back. Her degree from Johns Hopkins, a Master of Science in Digital Age Learning and Educational Technology, helped propel her from Special Educator to her current teaching position where she teaches Kindergarten to eighth grade students how to code.