The Characteristics of Good and Poor Readers

Understanding Summer Learning Loss and How to Keep Your Child Engaged

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 by Demitra Bryant | Uncategorized

As summer approaches, children look forward to a break from schoolwork and routines. However, this break can lead to what educators refer to as "summer learning loss" or the "summer slide," where students may forget some of what they learned during the academic year. This phenomenon is especially pronounced in subjects like reading and mathematics, and it's something that parents can help prevent with a few proactive steps.

What is Summer Learning Loss?

Summer learning loss describes the decline in academic skills and knowledge over the course of the summer holidays. This isn't just a minor hiccup; the effects can accumulate, impacting a student's performance in the upcoming school year. Research shows that on average, students lose one to two months of reading and math skills during summer. The loss can be more severe for students from lower-income families, who might not have easy access to educational resources. Here's a great article: Summer learning loss: What we know and what we're learning

Math skills are usually more affected than reading because math is less likely to be practiced without formal education. However, reading skills can also decline if a child does not engage in any reading during the break.

Why Address This Slide?

Addressing the summer slide is important because it can widen the academic performance gap between students. Continuous learning helps maintain educational momentum, ensuring that your child returns to school ready and confident. Fortunately, preventing summer learning loss doesn't require a full academic schedule. Instead, it can be combated with fun, engaging activities that promote learning.

Tips to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

1. Create a Reading Routine

One of the simplest and most effective ways to maintain and develop literacy skills over the summer is to integrate reading into your daily routine. Encourage your child to read for at least 20-30 minutes a day. You can make this more engaging by allowing your child to pick books that interest them, regardless of the genre. Whether it's graphic novels, adventure stories, or science fiction, the key is to keep them reading. Consider joining a summer reading program at your local library or setting up a family book club where everyone reads the same book and discusses it.

2. Engage in Educational Activities

Summer is the perfect time to explore informal learning opportunities that can be both fun and educational. Visit museums, zoos, or nature centers where children can learn new things through interactive displays and real-world experiences. Many of these places offer workshops or day-camp programs specifically designed for children during the summer months. Also, look for educational games that reinforce skills like math, spelling, and critical thinking. These games can be board games, card games, or even digital apps designed for learning.

3. Supplement with Tutoring

Investing just one hour a week in formal educational activities with a tutor can significantly bolster your child’s reading and writing skills. If the tutoring is tailored to your child’s specific learning needs, it can dramatically enhance their ability to grasp and retain information. A tutor who understands and follows a learning pathway designed for your child’s requirements can make learning continuous and efficient. This consistent touch-point ensures that skills remain sharp and can even lead to improvements over the summer.

4. Set Achievable Learning Goals

Setting small, achievable learning goals throughout the summer can help keep your child focused and prevent feelings of overwhelm. These goals should be specific, measurable, and tied to fun rewards, such as a trip to a favorite ice cream shop or a small toy. Goals could include mastering a certain number of math problems, reading a set number of books, or completing a science project. This approach helps children see the progress they're making, which can be incredibly motivating.


Summer doesn't have to mean a break from learning. By incorporating educational activities into the summer break, you can help your child maintain their academic skills and return to school ready to succeed. Most importantly, these activities can be fun and engaging, ensuring that your child enjoys their summer while staying on track academically. Combining leisure with learning, especially with personalized tutoring, can transform the summer slide into a summer of strides.