Ah, summer. The smell of freedom, chlorine, freshly cut grass, and…dropping math and reading levels? While students may enjoy the long break from school, research shows that their educational progress does not. The two to three month learning hiatus can lead to major setbacks for already struggling students, resulting in lower standardized test scores, unhealthy eating habits, and higher dropout rates, especially among at-risk groups. OnlineCollege.org has put together research highlighting the dangers of summer learning loss. Below are just a few of those dangers:
1) Drop in Math Skills
Math takes ones of the biggest summer learning loss hits. On average, students lose more than two and half months’ worth of grade equivalency in math skills during summer vacation. With many students already struggling to pass math courses, losing a considerable chunk of knowledge only makes matters worse.
2) Reading and Spelling Losses
While students from middle class families typically see a rise in reading performance during summer vacation, low-income students often lose two or more months’ worth of reading performance, further widening an already existing achievement gap between income groups. Students at all income levels are likely to lose a month or more of spelling skills, as well.
3) Teachers Must Spend Time Re-teaching Material
As a result of students’ learning loss, rather than moving onto more advanced material, teachers typically spend between four and six weeks reviewing material and skills that students have forgotten over the summer. Needless to say, this is an enormous waste of valuable time and resources that should be spent moving students’ education forward.
4) Losses Add Up
Summer learning loss doesn’t stop after students (hopefully) catch back up as the school year progresses. Losses can accumulate over years, resulting in students performing significantly below their grade level. The outcome of this is a higher dropout rate, particularly among low-income students, and a lower number of students heading off to college after graduation.
5) Unhealthy Eating Habits
While students are losing valuable knowledge and skills over the summer, their waistbands are expanding. According to a 2007 study, most students—especially those already at risk of obesity—gain weight at a faster rate during summer vacation than during the school year.
Options For Youth offers a year-round program to combat summer learning loss, and helped over 7,000 students last summer stay on top of their education. Enrolling in summer school with OFY is easy and returning to your home school and the transfer of credits at the end of summer is a seamless process. Don’t let summer learning loss hold you back! Sign up for summer school with OFY today.