Summer Learning Loss COVID-19

Summer Loss of Learning and COVID-19

Is Your Child Behind?

One of the most heard concerns from parents is that they worry that their child is behind. In fact, summer learning loss during COVID-19 is something we should all be aware of. You know as well as I know how your kids have struggled this year with the school’s partial or complete shutdown. You know how hard it has been to not only get your kids onto their online classes on time and them ready to learn. For many of you, keeping your kids on-task during their class has also been difficult.

What one parent said…

When speaking with my friend Mary, a parent of a 5th grader and 2nd grader, she said, “I’m so frustrated. My son is really struggling with reading this year. The remote learning just hasn’t worked. He plays or hides instead of paying attention. And, it’s not like I know how to teach him to read. We are Zoomed out and I don’t know what to do this summer to get him up to speed.”

How has Covid 19 Impacted Learning?

Mary is not alone with this frustration and concern about her son. Let’s admit it, school has been just plain hard for so many kids this year. In fact, multiple studies have reported long-term learning loss due to this past year of COVID-19 to be as much as 1.5 years loss over time. Studies from Stanford University also state that the learning gap between low-income students and those that are not low-income is widening. Some students may be held back due to missing so much instruction from not being able to sit still for his online classes. Additionally, USA Today states that a slew of new reports show alarming numbers of kids falling behind, failing classes or not showing up at all.

What is the typical summer learning loss?

During non-Covid times, students typically lose a percentage of what they have learned the previous school year. In fact, the study in the American Education Research Journal that was published spring of 2020 states that 52% of students typically lose an average of 39% of their total school year learning gains over the summer. This study was done over five summers with grades 1 through 6. The study included 18 million students in 7,500 school districts. When you add in the learning loss that Covid 19 has engendered, it is important to do something to mitigate the loss.

What can a parent do? Can you mitigate the summer loss of learning compounded by Covid 19?

Too many kids have been impacted by school closures. The only redeeming point here is that all of our kids have been in the same boat. But what can you do about this learning loss? Is there something you as a parent can do? This is why summer reading programs are more important than ever. The largest-ever study of summer learning shows that summer reading programs mitigate this loss. In fact, the learning loss can be cut substantially whether students are primary (K-3rd), intermediate (4th-6th), or even middle school age (7th-9th).

4 Recommendations to Cut Summer Loss of Learning: 

This summer, create a routine for your kids. Routines are essential to success and they give all of us structure and a sense of accomplishment. Keeping our kids in a routine will help with their stress level, keep their brains in ‘work’ mode vs. ‘vacation’ mode, and help parents not turn into babysitters!

  • Have regular times for waking up, eating lunch, and having dinner.
  • Create a routine for ‘study time’ (preferably the same time each day for a set amount of time). This can and should include reading for pleasure.
  • Set aside time for exploration whether it is doing an activity in the yard or exploring cooking, creating with Legos, painting, doing puzzles, sock puppet shows, or crafts.
  • Enroll in a research-based summer reading program that includes the 5 key principles of reading.

We have created an example schedule below. Feel free to modify this to a schedule that works for you and your kids. The key here is to try to create consistent times throughout the day for studies, eating, and family time.

Advance Faster with Research-Based At-Home and Online Summer Reading Program

We believe we can help you and your kids with our At-Home and Online Summer Reading Program for grades K-8. It includes the 5 key principles of reading instruction. When you pair the 5 principles of reading instruction with short fun activities reading skills improve quickly.

Summer Reading Program Includes the 5 Key Principles of Reading

  1. Phonemic awareness
  2. Phonics/spelling
  3. Fluency instruction
  4. Comprehension and note-taking
  5. Vocabulary

We also include executive function activities (planning skills), games, and more to make it easier to learn. Daily activities are typically each 5 to 15 minutes in length.

You can increase your kids’ desire to read. You can improve their reading skills, memory skills, and comprehension skills. The Idaho State Librarian Stephanie Bailey-White recently told Education Dive that students who continue to read over the summer tend to gain a year or two over their peers who don’t. Now is the time to make a difference.

Learn more about our Summer Reading Program

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