Closing the Achievement Gap with Tips for Preventing Summer Learning Loss

Summer matters. For those months of the year when children aren’t in school, engaging educational experiences can keep them from losing the progress they made. A major challenge during these summer months is ensuring that children retain the knowledge gained during the school year by preventing the “summer slide.”

Research shows that the summer slide has a significant, cumulative impact on academic achievement, particularly for children in low-income households. The summer slide is a key factor behind a stunning statistic: by the end of 5th grade, disadvantaged children are, on average, nearly three grade levels behind their more affluent peers in reading (source: The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading). And, according to the National Summer Learning Association, summer learning loss accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading between children from low- and middle-income households by 9th grade.

But there is hope. While the school year will start before we know it, there’s still time for children to reinforce what they learned the previous year and prepare for the next one. Engaging and effective learning experiences can help prevent the summer slide by getting children excited to continue learning over their summer break.

Click here to get some helpful tips that families can use to maintain academic achievement over the summer from National Teachers’ Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Rebecca Palacios, Senior Curriculum Advisor at Age of Learning …

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New Research Brief: ABCmouse Prevents Summer Slide for Rising First Graders

This study examined the impact of ABCmouse Early Learning Academy on summer learning loss (known as “summer slide”) in a diverse sample of 999 rising first graders.

Results showed that ABCmouse helped prevent summer slide in reading for students who regularly used ABCmouse for at least 70 minutes per week over the summer. Students who met this usage threshold demonstrated literacy gains equivalent to the benefits of one month of academic instruction, while children who scored below the median at the beginning of the study experienced even greater gains from using ABCmouse.

 

Preventing Summer Learning Loss

Summer learning loss, often called the “summer slide,” is a serious issue for children throughout their K-12 education, especially for children from lower-income families.

So now, at the beginning of summer, I’m happy to share an article on the subject that was recently published on the Huffington Post by National Teachers Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Rebecca Palacios. Becky has worked with me on the Curriculum Board at Age of Learning since 2009, helping to guide the award-winning early learning curriculum for ABCmouse.

She frames the importance of preventing the summer slide this way:

It is estimated that every summer, children in low-income families lose approximately two to three months of reading skills while their middle-income peers make some gains. Over time, these summer learning losses add up and the academic achievement gap widens. Educators know that children being able to read at grade level by third grade is critically important. Summer learning is essential to keep children on track not only for that milestone, but also for others—including high school graduation and college enrollment.

Read Dr. Palacios’ article, Preventing Summer Learning Loss, for her insights and tips to help your child continue to learn over the summer.