Tackling the Teen Summer Slide

Every year we hear about the summer slide – the learning loss that occurs over the summer school break. It affects all children but can be a particular challenge for teens. This year the issue is especially prominent because of the pandemic and the potential effects that lockdown had on learning loss. Every summer, kids (especially those from low-income homes) can lose up to two months of reading gains. The loss accumulates each year. The first study of this phenomenon took place in 1996. It found that students tended to lose more math skills over the summer than reading. It also claimed that low-income students regressed in their reading skills while middle and upper-income students improved. A more recent study confirmed the loss of one to two months of learning gains from the previous year. It also suggested that students who gained more in the school year tended to regress more over the summer. While this data is concerning, families and teachers can encourage continued learning throughout the summer. By doing so, they can maintain or even increase the learning gains achieved in the school year.

There are lots of wonderful resources available to help younger children avoid summer learning loss, but what about teenagers? Tackling the teen summer slide can be a challenge. Notoriously tough to engage, how can we interest them in participating in educational activities? The links below offer some exciting ideas to help keep teen brains active this summer.

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