Summer Tips: How to Overcome Summer Learning Loss

Posted on August 12 2013

Summer days are coming! How is your child spending his summer? Does he need to play catch-up to make up for learning days lost? Does he desire to move on to the next level of his education? Summer can be a great opportunity to do this. Even if you plan to give him a break from his studies during the summer time, as your child’s virtual high school learning coach, you still need to prevent any learning loss from occurring.

What is learning loss?

Studies show that students do experience some level of learning loss during the summer. This means that some of the learning gains during the school year are slightly decreased due to the lack of learning activities. As teens are left to veg out in front of the television, the Xbox or the computer, or to spend lazy days in the community center pool, it can be expected that some lessons become forgotten.

Preventing summer learning loss

Learning loss is not an inevitable summer outcome. There are a number of ways to keep your online high school student busy and learning.

  • Change your school schedule. Rather than following the standard school year schedule, program your child’s learning for shorter summer days and more vacation breaks during the year. This can allow you to schedule family trips (another learning opportunity!) in the middle of the year. Of course, if needed, the online high school program you have can still be the same length as that offered by a “brick and mortar” school. This means that the child does not miss out on rest and relaxation as well. He can still have summer outings with his friends as well as family bonding trips with the family.
  • Help your child get a summer job. A summer job is actually a great learning opportunity. It not allows your child to apply things he has learned in math, accounting or even computer technology. It also helps develop a sense of responsibility in your child and is an excellent start of his transition from adolescence to adulthood. Another alternative to working on a summer job is to volunteer in a civic organization.
  • Gear up for “summer school”. Instead of having your child spend all his time “relaxing”, why not have a few of these hours for school? Your child can have a few units to earn some credits during the summer. Studies indicate that even half an hour to one hour of study during the summer can help prevent any learning loss and even bridge learning gaps and help the student prepare for the next school year.
  • Enroll in summer classes or join clubs. Summer can be a great time for your child to learn something new or to strengthen his talents. This can be dancing classes, karate lessons, learning to play the piano or tennis or cooking lessons. This can include being a stage hand in the local drama club’s summer or going to summer camp.
  • Make a bucket list for reading. Make the most of your public library privileges by checking out age-appropriate reading material for your teen. Also check if there are summer reading groups in the library. It’s best to model a love for reading in your child – this will encourage your child to learn to love reading as well.
  • Encourage your child to write creatively. Assign your child to write one paragraph everyday to sharpen his writing, grammar and vocabulary skills. Encourage your child to use a thesaurus to replace commonly-used words with its synonyms. You can also have a “word” for the day, which he can use to write his paragraphs.