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Ms. Leber

May 11, 2023

ELA Classes

Avoid the “Summer Slide” Over Break

As summer approaches, many parents face a challenging choice: should my child keep working on skills over the summer, or do they need a break? It’s a legitimate question, especially for students who have busy academic calendars. Most top-performing students balance rigorous academics with activities, clubs, sports, and family. By summer, they’re likely burned out and exhausted, which can impact academic performance if they are not allowed to take sufficient breaks. But, a cold-turkey break from learning for months can be as perilous.

Summer Learning Loss Statistics

Most people think of summer break as a pause when in actuality, it is better described as an erosion. A long summer gap can result in a loss of two to three months of learning progress from the previous school year, requiring most teachers to spend the first six weeks of school re-teaching material covered during the last grade. Children in grades 3rd to 5th typically demonstrate a 20% loss in previously learned reading skills and concepts, but kindergarteners through 2nd grade are even more vulnerable. Young learners in these grades are only beginning to build a foundation for reading, leaving skills like decoding, letter knowledge, and vocabulary retention susceptible to decline. Add to that the slow recovery of learning loss thanks to the Pandemic, and young students are behind more than any generation before.

Keep Kids Reading and Writing Through Summer

The key to keeping students learning through summer without burning them out is introducing learning that doesn’t feel like school but sustains elements such as routine, structure, and expectations. This can be anything from enrolling in a summer camp, starting a family book club, or simply cooking a new recipe together.

  • Read the same book as a family, then get together to discuss thoughts on each chapter of the book.
  • Try cooking a new recipe with kids to practice reading and writing skills. Ask the student to write out the grocery list to practice spelling new words, then have them read the directions out loud while cooking.
  • Hold a weekly game night with word-based games. Boggle, Scrabble, Upwords, and Bananagrams are all fun and excellent ways to keep vocabulary and spelling skills sharp.
  • Plan a weekly trip to the library and let students explore the stacks to keep reading options fresh.

How LTWN Can Help Combat Learning Loss

One of the best advantages of being an LTWN student is the LTWN Freewriting App. Encouraging daily freewriting using the app will build the habit of writing and utilizing their grammar, vocabulary, and organization skills every day.

Over the summer, LTWN provides a plethora of options for students to continue building reading and writing skills. Our summer workshops include sections for Writers’, Readers’, and Creative Writing, as well as the continuation of the 360 program. Starting this summer, we’re introducing the new workshop English Explorers, which delivers ELA concepts through fun games and activities rather than an intensive homework-based curriculum.

However you plan to combat learning loss this summer, remember that the brain is a muscle that loses strength without exercise. Summer learning doesn’t have to be strenuous. Any activities that engage the imagination, critical thinking, or creativity will help students retain and expand their ELA knowledge.

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