Summer slide is a common problem experienced by students across all the grades. It does not need a special circumstance to affect their academic progress. A simple summer break, without a study schedule, is enough to make students forget their lessons and end up at lower achievement levels as compared to their levels before the break.
Here we have listed a few signs that can help you identify if your child is experiencing a summer learning loss. Read on.
1) Can’t Remember Lessons from the Previous Class
The first and foremost sign that indicates your child is experiencing a summer slide is failure to remember lessons from the previous year. You can observe this in simple things, say for example, while writing, your child starts the sentence with a small letter or writes a person’s name in the small letter.
These are very small observations and may go unnoticed very easily. But they indicate that your child has forgotten the basic rules of nouns and making sentences. You can make similar observations in other subjects also, like your child may not recall how to add two-digit numbers, may not quickly reply with the name of a state’s capital, or might even forget spellings of simple words that he had learned in the previous grade.
2) Issues in Reading and Comprehension
Another sign of the summer slide is reading issues. Studies have proven that children experience substantial loss in their reading skills during the summer break. Some signs that you may observe are fumbling at difficult words, reduced reading speed and difficulty in reading fluently along with punctuations. Reading issues can eventually also affect their comprehension. Because when they focus too much on reading and pronouncing correctly, they fail to focus on the meaning of the content.
3) Too Many Spelling Mistakes
If you notice that your child is suddenly making several spelling mistakes, you can be sure that your child is experiencing a summer slide. In the absence of school, when children do not study regularly during their summer break, the first thing they forget is spellings. They can even forget how to spell simple, common words, which they could easily spell before the summer break started. So, keep an eye on the spellings. A few hours of study every week can help you avoid this problem and keep your child up-to-date with both simple and difficult spellings.
4) Change in Handwriting
Handwriting, especially for younger children is a crucial indicator. If your child’s handwriting has changed after the summer break, for example, if you notice, your child is struggling to keep a uniform size of the alphabets or if some alphabets are always jumping out of line, your child is experiencing a summer learning loss. In the younger years, children need to practice writing constantly to improve their handwriting, writing speed and to reduce mistakes in spelling and sentence formation.
In the summer months, when children do not have a proper study schedule, they do not get enough writing practice. This can be disastrous for children once they go back to school after the summer break. They might struggle with finishing their classwork in time and may also end up making too many mistakes.
5) Noticeable change in Math Skills
Math is a crucial subject for all age groups and is often the subject that takes the maximum hit during the summer break. Studies show that when children do not follow a study schedule in the summer months they stand to lose as much as 50% of their math gains acquired during the school session. 50% is a huge percentage and can heavily impact a student’s performance in the next year.
You may notice issues like inability to recall formulas, struggling to multiply two numbers, getting confused between multiples and factors, etc. To cover up the learning loss in math, both the students and their teachers may have to spend several weeks on revising and re-learning crucial topics that are necessary for next year’s lessons.
Spotting the signs of the summer slide is easy if you are aware of your child’s curriculum and often participate in lessons, homework, and activities. Every time you suspect there might be an issue with your child’s learning, immediately remedy it with daily practice. This year, as the schools close for the summer, make a study timetable for your child along with all your fun plans.
If you are not sure how to manage studies and other activities during the summer break, you can also consider summer courses. They are specially designed courses to make summer breaks productive through regular study sessions. You can choose the subject for the course; you can also customize the lesson plan and create a flexible schedule according to your child’s routine.
To avoid the summer slide for good, enroll your child into a summer course right when the break begins and end it before the school reopens. This way, your child will always be in touch with the lessons and will not lose any skills/lessons during the break.