With the end of the school year drawing to a close, teachers and students alike are looking forward to the long, beautiful summer days free of responsibilities and the rigors of learning. Before you put away your pencils and calculators in favor of sunglasses and beach towels though, it’s important to take into consideration the reality of summer learning loss. It is defined as the loss in academic skills over the course of summer vacation. A meta-analysis of 39 studies found that all students scored lower on standardized math tests post-summer vacation compared to their performance on the same tests prior to vacation. (Cooper et al.).
In addition, key findings in this study show that the best case scenario is either miniscule or no academic growth over the summer; while the worst case scenario showed students lose one to three months of learning. Furthermore summer loss is slightly greater in math than reading and it was greatest in math computation and spelling. (Mclaughlin et. al 2010)
Here is another important statement to note: it is incredibly easy to ignore the importance of preventing the summer slide. Summer is a time for laughter, ease, adventures and fun. Taking the time to reinforce math concepts is not always seen as an ideal summer activity.
The good news is, math summer loss can be mitigated in fun and engaging ways.
For outdoor activities involving math check out our other blog HERE.
A second option for having fun with math this summer is our engaging online math program. Mathletics strives to transform what learning math means to our youth and encourages the love of learning in math. Whether it’s playing Live Math with students across the globe, singing along to the Times Tables Toons, or earning a gold bar from mastering that tricky concept. In fact, 99% of parents said their children enjoyed using Mathletics and showed an increased understanding in math.
Lastly, always encourage creativity. Math is often overlooked as a subject in which creativity can thrive. We believe that students learn better by doing. Encourage your child to be creative in the problem solving process by asking open ended questions with multiple possible outcomes. This takes out some of the rigor often associated with math, encouraging student ownership and engagement. Creative students are more likely to become self-directed learners when given the ability to approach problems in unique ways.
Enjoy learning this summer while avoiding the loss of hard-earned knowledge from the school year.
Are there any tips and tricks you use over the summer? Let us know in the comment section!
McLaughlin, Brenda, and Jeffrey Smink. “Why Summer Learning Deserves a Front-Row Seat in the Education Reform Arena.” John Hopkins School of Education. The John Hopkins University New Horizons for Learning, May 2010. Web. 08 June 2016.
Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. 1996. “The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and metaanalytic review.” Review of Educational Research, 66, 227–268