Preventing Summer Learning Loss: Tips, Strategies, Activities
“Summer learning loss is the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer holidays. The loss in learning varies across grade level and subject matter.”
You may have heard of the “summer slide” as it relates to the break students have from school over the summer. It is very important to keep skills acquired over this past school year as fresh as possible before re-entering school in the fall. Below you will find skills and strategies that you can work on with your child. –Mrs. Amanda Kowalik, PHCS Academic Coach
- Create reading routines and read every day. Ask your child questions about his/her reading (change the title, change the ending, add additional characters, etc). These types of questions increase the level of comprehension.
- Encourage your child to read books more than once. Reading the same book multiple times is a best practice. Each time you read, you discover new things about the book you didn’t pick up the first time you read it. This helps you to make deeper connections to the book such as text to self, connecting the book to your own life; text to text, connecting it to other books you have read; text to world, connecting it to events happening in the world around you.
- Choose books that are at an appropriate reading level for your child. Use the five finger rule. Open the book to any page and ask your child to read. Put up a finger every time your child does not know a word. If you have to put up more than five fingers before the end of the page, this book is too hard for your child. For older students, teach them to do this for themselves. When choosing books with the purpose of increasing fluency, accuracy, and comprehension, this rule can be applied to all ages.
- Always check for understanding. Before starting the book, make some predictions about what will happen in the story. Encourage your child to make connections. Does this story remind you of a time in your life, another book or a movie you have seen, etc? Also make comments throughout the reading such as: I wonder…., I’m guessing that…, I was confused by…, It surprised me that…, Now I understand…
- Show your child the math that is around you in your everyday lives. For example, cooking involves measuring and counting. Try to engage your child in activities and conversations around math.
- Have children practice newly learned math skills in a variety of ways. Go beyond the equation and have them draw out the problem or find videos on YouTube that explain various ways to solve a problem.
- Make flash cards for basic facts or equations. Practice them a little each day.
- Ask your child to talk about or write out how he/she arrived at a math answer and every step that was involved to get there.
In General – How to Help Your Child Succeed In School:
- Ask your child about the school year and how he/she thinks it went. What were positives? What were negatives? Talk about your child’s strengths and weaknesses and set goals around them.
- Read with your child every night. Even the upper school child can benefit from this. You can read a news article together or a novel that you can have discussions about.
- Talk to your child about responsibility and accountability. Having these conversations here and there over the summer will help keep this fresh in the mind once the new school year begins.
- When school starts back in the fall, stay involved and contact your child’s teacher with any questions. Keep all conversation about your child’s teacher and the school positive, creating a team approach to help your child be successful.
- Remind your child that learning is fun and that even though your brain is an organ and not a muscle, you can still give your brain a workout!
PHCS Summer Assignments
Summer is a time for family, friends, and fun! It is also a great time to brush up on skills learned during the past school year. In order to set students up for success in September, we have compiled a list of summer activities that we encourage everyone to complete (and one requirement for upper school students). Enjoy your summer, and we look forward to seeing you in September! -Mrs. Gudmundsson & Mrs. Ruff
- Sign up for your local public library’s summer reading program. The library asks students to read a certain number of books (depending on their grade level) and submit a form back to the library. There are even prizes at the end for students who register and complete their reading within the time frame given!
- Visit the PHCS library. Mrs. Thrappas will be working in our library this summer and would love to have students come and borrow books from her! *Library Hours: 9:00am-12:00pm on 6/19, 7/2, and 7/30.
- All upper school students (grades 6-12) are required to read at least one age appropriate book of your choosing. Students will be asked to complete a benchmark writing assignment based on this book during the first week of school.
- AP Lit & Comp students are required to read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and be prepared when you return to school for an assessment of your understanding and analysis of the novel.
- Visit Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/) to practice your math skills. This is a free website that will take students through almost any level of math as practice and review.
- Purchase a math bridge book for review. These can be found at any educational store or online.
- Complete one of the Bible reading challenges from Mr. Neiswender, our US Director of Spiritual Formation. He has compiled a variety of challenges for upper school students and lower school families.
- Proverbs Challenge – Read a chapter of the Proverbs each day corresponding to the date (July 1st read Proverbs chapter one, July 2nd read chapter two, etc). Start over again in August. You will read through the Proverbs two times and get so much practical wisdom for your life.
- The New Testament Challenge – Read three chapters a day and you will read the entire New Testament during the summer.
- The Luke Challenge – Read through Luke’s gospel and then the book of Acts (both written by Luke). Read a chapter for four days out of each week.
- The Old Testament Challenge – Read ten chapters of the OT a day, each day.
- The Psalms Challenge – Read two chapters a day for six days each week. Take three days to read Psalm 119.
- The Paul Challenge – Read through Paul’s Letters. Starting at Romans and reading through Philemon, read one chapter a day.
- The John Challenge – Read John’s Gospel, then First, Second and Third John then Revelation. Read four chapters a week.
- The Old Testament History Challenge – Start at Genesis and read five chapters each day, and you will get through the history of God’s people in the OT.
- Lower school students, please refer to the notes from your teacher on the report card/summer letter for specific summer goals.
- If your child needs tutoring over the summer, we have tutoring resources available upon request in the school office.
- Mrs. Amanda Kowalik, our Academic Coach, has compiled a list of activities to prevent summer learning loss. These are fun and easy to incorporate into your daily activities. *see back for details