Did you know that extensive research indicates a significant decline occurs in students’ academic skills during the long summer school holiday break? Studies have shown that over this period, students can lose approximately 20% of their reading skills and 27% of their mathematics skills gained during the school year (Cooper et al., 1996). This phenomenon is referred to as ‘The Summer Slide’.
Studies have shown that students experience significant knowledge loss over the summer break, which can lead to ongoing skill decline each year (Alexander et al., 2007). Professor James Kim from Harvard University emphasises that younger students are particularly vulnerable to the “Summer Slide.” This phenomenon affects students in the first three years of school more than those in later years. Kim explains that skills like decoding, letter knowledge, word reading, and mathematics facts are susceptible to decay without regular practice (Kim, 2003).
Parents can play a pivotal role in helping their children beat the “Summer Slide” during school holidays through affordable and easily accessible activities that can be done at home or in the local community.
For young children, here are some activities to consider:
Encourage your child to read daily. While letting them choose their reading material is important, a visit to the local library or sharing books with friends can broaden their reading horizons.
Cooking engages your child in reading, mathematics, and science as they follow recipes. It’s a fun and educational way to spend time together.
Explore Local Attractions
Trips to local museums, zoos, or parks with walking trails can spark your child’s curiosity, encouraging questions and deeper thinking.
Learn a New Word Weekly
As a family, pick an unfamiliar word from the dictionary, discuss its meaning, and use it in sentences daily.
Engage in age-appropriate board games and puzzles that stimulate creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
Have intentional and meaningful conversations with your child to expand their vocabulary and encourage critical thinking.
Listen to Podcasts and Audiobooks
Make the most of car rides or leisure time at home by listening to podcasts or audiobooks. Discuss the content and ask your child questions for enhanced learning.
Encourage your child to dress up, create puppets, and put on plays or shows for the family.
Additionally, in January, we are hosting our ‘Beat The Summer Slide’ workshop programs for students from year 1 to year 10. These programs consist of 5 consecutive workshops, focusing on revising essential Mathematics and English concepts before the 2024 school year begins. Our live workshops involve small groups of up to 4 students, are face-to-face, and led by qualified tutors in secure online classrooms.
Numbers are limited however, so to avoid disappointment register your child this week by emailing us at [email protected]
By actively engaging your child in evidence-based learning activities and providing support during the school holidays, you can help them to maintain and even enhance their academic skills, ensuring that they start the new school year feeling positive and confident.
TRACEY HAND | CO-FOUNDER