## Avoid Summer Learning Loss

Children work hard during the school year. They learn math concepts and practice math skills daily. Don’t let those hard-won gains slip away over summer vacation. Summer Learning Loss is a Real Problem Professor Karl Alexander of John Hopkins University discovered while studying disadvantaged schoolchildren that summer learning loss was real and cumulative. For example, about two-thirds of an achievement gap between ninth-graders of different income levels was explained by learning that did or did not take place over summer vacations in the earlier school years. Furthermore, children who accumulated these summer losses for many years kept falling behind and were less likely to finish high school and go on to college. Summer Learning Loss is more in Math Summer losses can be more profound in a subject like mathematics, where skills are sequential and cumulative. Every year of math instruction builds on the skills learned in previous years, so any loss is a problem. Lack of automatic arithmetic skills will slow a student’s learning of more abstract math such as algebra. Forgetting introductory algebra skills will hamper learning of more advanced concepts such as polynomials and the manipulation of logarithms. Fortunately, summer learning loss is not inevitable. Summer Learning Loss is Preventable Children who did not experience significant losses over summer break had some common experiences: trips to the library, concerts, and museums; organized sports or camps; family vacations. In other words, these children had environments conducive to natural, […]