Should you be worried about summer learning loss?☀️
The Northwest Evaluation Association recently published a report into summer learning loss. It was extensive, including 200 million test scores for 18 million students over five summers. And it showed that 52% of students lost an average of 39% of their total school year gains during the summer months.
That is huge.
But they also noted that some students continued to gain knowledge over the summer. And interestingly, they cited parental skill and expectations as one of the key drivers.
In other words, it doesn’t have to happen. You could even argue it’s an opportunity to get ahead. And as parents, you can stop it from happening to your child. That’s great – but what can you do? Here are a few ideas how you can help your child this summer.
How can you prevent summer learning loss?
A Great Summer Bake Off🎂
Children adore baking and it’s a great way to get them to follow instructions and practice their maths using weights and measures. Choose an easy recipe – either online or in a recipe book – and then allow them to get messy whilst baking. They love the fact that they can taste as they go along and their results will hopefully be delicious – you can be the judge! And don’t forget to tell your children that cleaning up is part and parcel of being a chef!
(We’re a fan of these delicious iced biscuits by BBC Good Food😋 – https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/simple-iced-biscuits)
Daily Maths Challenge🥇
Little and often is a great way to improve and maintain maths skills. Encouraging your child to do a quick 10-minute challenge daily or even 3-4 times a week can make a real difference. You could print off maths quizzes, buy a maths or sudoku book, or for something with less effort, play short online challenges, like those on the Plytime platform. Or sign up for the Free 4-week Summer Mini Maths with Plytime Learning today using code MINIMATHS23 and your child can play as many short challenges as they like over the summer.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good story? Regular reading helps to keep a child’s literacy skills up and you can borrow free physical books or e-books from your local library. During the summer holidays there’s a Summer Reading Challenge either at your local library or online. Set a reading goal, log your books on your profile and when you reach your target you’ll unlock some digital goodies. Alternatively, you can download cheap books or pop into your local charity shop for some book bargains. Reading together is a lovely bedtime routine that can also be continued during term time.
Children love playing games and family board games in particular encourage some face to face contact over the holidays. Some board games have been proven to improve your whole family’s skills in English or Maths and children don’t even realise that they are learning. This is great for parents to sharpen their skills too and board games are ideal for playing on a sunny day in the garden or a wet one in the tent. You could try some of the old favourites such as scrabble, bananagrams or PLYT.
Write a Story✍️
The BBC’s “500 words” competition has been hugely successful with children creating some wonderfully imaginative stories. You could have your own 500 words challenge over the holidays and encourage your child to write their own masterpiece. If your budding authors need any inspiration here are a few prompts.
So, you don’t need to allow your children to have a summer slump but it doesn’t have to be onerous either. You can still have a great fun holiday without them (or you) realising they are learning.
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