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Summer Slide

With summer right around the corner it is time to start thinking about how to keep your child busy and on track for the upcoming school year. Summer slide is the tendency for your student to forget the educational material they gained from the previous school year when entering the following school year. Unfortunately, this happens way too often and results in the teacher having to backtrack and reteach last year’s material to refresh their mind in order to move forward. In a recent study, researchers found that students in third to fifth grade showed about a 20% loss in their reading school year gains and a 27% loss of school-year math gains during their summer break.

The trend of educational skill loss over the summer months is becoming more prominent and can possibly lead to snowball effect for the educational years to come. In an article by Scholastic, they offer some more insight and ideas on how to keep your student busy and engaged during their summer break. Some ways they suggest maintaining your child’s basic skills over the summer are: letting them read what they want, make time for smart play, get out of the house and using their imagination.

From this summer learning loss phenomenon, a lot of research has been conducted all resulting in different outcomes. Some researchers concluded that the extent of academic loss was larger in higher grade levels, on average about a month of school-year learning is lost during the summer months and declines in math were seen higher than in reading. With that being said, there are many factors that play into the effects of losing academic success during summer break, one of the most significant factors being socioeconomic status.

A theory has formed from this prolonged pattern we’ve seen in academic regression over the summer. The faucet theory suggests an explanation for this slide and how it is seen especially in low income families. The faucet theory can be looked at as a ‘resource faucet’ that is turned on and running enabling students to make educational gains during the school year. Unfortunately, over the summer the resource flow slows down almost like turning the faucet off for those from disadvantaged backgrounds in comparison to advantaged backgrounds who may have access to better resources due to their higher-income situations thus facilitating learning.

With this skill loss in mostly reading and math there’s a lot of catching up to do. To prevent this, it’s a good idea for the students to revive their memory with stimulating activities during the summer months. Thankfully, Communities In Schools serves as an aid for these types of situations like our summer camps. CIS will be offering summer camps at 32 schools this year thanks to the support of: Kids Hope Alliance, Coach Foundation, Bank of America, SunTrust and Cultural Council. These summer camps will focus on workforce development, college/career exploration, job skills, field trips and most importantly, fun! Check with your child’s school for more information about CIS summer camps.