July 1, 2018

Portland High School Summer Learning Loss

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Make Summer Learning Fun!

Research shows that, over the summer, Portland high school students are likely to experience summer learning loss. Students, on average, lose the equivalent of 2.5 months worth of math education during the summer months. Decades of research (dating back over 100 years) prove this stunning fact.

However, some students actually report slight gains in learning and brain development over the summer. Why? They read books. Work with tutors. And attend educational summer camps. (My mom used to send me to these. Thanks, mom!)

Tired of summer learning loss? You better be! Research shows that it’s cumulative. That means each summer piles on-top of each other, weighing down your child’s grades like a heavy rock.

Quick Tips on helping your Portland high school student prevent summer learning loss:
  1. Go To The Library
  2. Reward Them For Khan Academy
  3. Teach Them About Finance and Investing
  4. Read To Them
  5. Solve Math Problems With Them

You could consider creating a reward system, whereby if your child reads for 30 minutes (or studies math using Khan Academy for 30 minutes) they are free to play with their friends for the afternoon.

Remember, this is also important for standardized tests. Research shows that after the summer months, students score lower on standardized tests (than they did at the end of spring). And this loss is cumulative. For example, in math, students who don’t learn in the summer can end up 2.5 to 3 years behind their peers. Could this be a reason that your teenager is struggling in algebra, geometry, or calculus? In our experience, we see this happen all the time.

Is your child on the bubble?

Summer learning loss is especially important if your child is struggling or “on the bubble” in any of her classes. A few hours in the summer can mean the difference between a D or a B in the fall.

Ask your teacher for help. Often, teachers will have extra resources and ideas for how their students can catch up and improve in the summer. Ask about: workbooks, online resources, or fun activities.

Checking with next year’s teacher is often an even better idea because they can help give your child a direct head start.

Other ideas to consider:
  • Summer Writing Courses
  • Dance Classes
  • STEM Summer Camp
Planning a lot of vacations this summer?

Try to find some teachable moments. Let your child help plan and research the trip. Take them to the zoo, library, or a museum. Encourage them to write a journal during the summer.

I know a number of parents who suspend allowance during the summer… and instead reward good behavior (studying, reading, learning) with prizes or compensation. Research shows that these rewards don’t have to be big to work. They just have to be timely.

Good luck on your summer learning and fun!

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