Ways to prevent summer learning loss in children

Academic Summer Loss: What it is and how to prevent it.

Oh! the joys of long lazy summer days. Some of the best childhood memories are made over the summer. Summer days are lots of fun but academic summer loss is not. 

Academic Summer Loss also known as Summer Slide or Summer Learning Slide, is used to describe the slide backwards that many children make in reading, math and other academic skills over the summer. Students impacted by summer academic loss return to school at a lower academic level.

This year, the nationwide closure of schools resulting from the Covid-19 Pandemic, have resulted in online schooling for many students. A lot of those students did not adapt well to the unforeseen changes.  I know several students who used to average 95% in most classes that failed several classes due to the switch to online learning. They just did not transition well.

Additionally, several schools did not complete the syllabus for this academic year because of the pandemic. As as a result, a lot of students will go on to the next grade with major gaps in their learning.

You may think well it’s no big deal.  But for the student who was already struggling academically, it is a big deal.  Here is a perfect scenario:

Students start to learn about Money and Time in Mathematics in the 2nd Grade. In the next grade up – 3rd grade, the teacher will build on the foundational concepts of Time and Money introduced to the students in 2nd grade. A student that did not learn or fully understand time and money in 2nd grade will struggle greatly with understanding the more advanced concepts of time and money in the 3rd grade.

The above scenario applies to a lot of classes. How do I know this? In addition to coaching, I tutor elementary school and middle school students. I noticed this particular trend in a lot of my students.

A review from one of my clients.

It is not all bad news though, this is where summer learning plays a big role. Summer can be used to fill in those learning gaps.

I love the summer season, and I am a firm believer in the saying “ All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” However, being purposeful and intentional about how your kids spend their summer can make a world of difference in their academic skills.

On the contrary, other students who adjusted very well to online learning and were blessed enough to have completed the entire syllabus for their grades may experience a loss in learning if they fail to keep their skills sharp over the summer.  

Studies have shown that academic summer loss is even more common among students from poor neighborhoods.

How do you prevent academic learning loss in learning over the summer? I’m glad you asked. Below I share a few strategies that you can use to combat Summer Academic Slide.

Regular reading is key

Students can learn a ton of new things through reading over the summer. This includes new skills. Regular reading has been shown to have many benefits that include: an improvement in text reading and comprehension skills, inference skills, and more.

As a tutor, I can tell you first hand that the difference between students who are regular readers and those who do not read is almost as clear as day and night.  Those who are frequent readers tend to perform better overall academically than those who don’t. 

My advice is this: encourage your child to read regularly over the summer. Even if it is for 30 minutes a day. Reading will broaden their perspectives on a variety of subjects.  Having a summer reading list will go a long way in ensuring students meet their summer reading goals.

Your child should not just read for reading sake.  You want to ensure he or she fully understands what is being read.

 Asking the following questions can help to ensure your child understands what they are reading.

What is the running theme (moral, or lesson) from the story?

Ask about the setting of the story.

Where did it occur?

Who are main character(s)?

Were there any major conflicts?

What stood out ?

Ask your child to rate how much they liked their book?

When it comes to learning, reading makes a world of difference.

Use of Summer Learning Workbooks

Summer workbooks help to solidify skills from the previous grade, and give students a good headstart on new topics they will learn in the new grade. I like The Summer Brain Quest Series. They are easy to use and fun. Most students can use them without any additional help. I love how they have the “Brain Box” on each page to explain and break down concepts.

Another popular Summer Workbook is The Summer Bridge Activity Book Series. These are more advanced and challenging than the Summer Brain Quest Series.  Unlike the Brain Quest Summer Series, this is strictly a workbook with no explanations on concepts covered. Some students may need assistance when using them

I recommend both books to my students and my three children currently use them too.

You can also just buy any workbook that will help to sharpen your loved one’s skills or fill any gaps over the summer


This is a great option for the busy parent. It is also a great option if you have a child who is really struggling with learning. Working with a professional tutor will ensure your child gets the focused one-on-one help and learning assistance your he or she needs.

I enjoy working with my students. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, my tutoring sessions are currently online. Once the dust settles on the pandemic, I will be able go back to offer tutoring services in homes of clients or at public libraries all over Nassau County and South Suffolk Long Island, NY.

I work mainly with Elementary School Level students and Middle School Level Students. My area of specialty is writing. I help my students write better essays by teaching them writing strategies. I cover most subjects taught at the elementary and middle school level also.

Parents get a detailed report after each session on the progress of their child, on what we covered during the session.

My educational background:  I have an MBA in International Business and a Bachelor’s in Industrial Economics. I am a Certified Project Manager PMP and I am also certified to teach English to young students and adults. I hold 3 different English Teaching Certificates in ESL: 2 TEFL and 1 TEYL Certificate.

I will be delighted to hear from you to explore the possibility of tutoring your loved one.

This particular summer is an unusual one due to the pandemic.  Use the days wisely and purposefully to fill in any gaps your child may have experienced during the academic year. At the very least, let regular reading you be a part of your child’s daily routine this summer.

As you enjoy the beautiful warm summer days and create beautiful memories, keep in mind that summer academic loss is a real thing, and you have the power to combat it  and give your child a good headstart as they head into the next grade.