It's officially summer time! School is out for the summer and that means beach days, family BBQ’s and lots of time spent by the pool…but summer is also an important time for students to continue their education. It’s important for students to relax and have fun over summer, but with children losing up to 40% of the gains they made over the school year, it is also essential to keep learning new things!
What is summer learning loss?
Summer learning loss, brian drain, summer slide or however you want to phrase it, is a phenomenon that occurs when students forget information over summer vacation. This creates a problem because it means that students need to do a significant amount of review so that they are prepared for the following school year. In order to succeed, students need to practice essential skills over the summer months.
Typically teachers spend about 4-6 weeks reviewing old material that students may have forgotten over the summer.
Throughout the summer students' achievement scores can decline by one month’s worth of school-year learning. This is typically seen in math and reading skills. Similarly, reading gaps that are based on income tend to widen in the summer, making it more difficult for already disadvantaged students to return to the classroom in the fall. Low-income students can lose up to two months in reading achievements over the summer time. It has been reported by early-childhood scholars that nearly all of the gaps between children’s skills form before the age of five, or even before the age of three.
Unfortunately students who are most affected by summer learning loss are more likely to drop out of high school and are less likely to attend college. This is why it is important to encourage education at an early age. It has been reported that 3rd graders who can not keep up with their standard 3rd grade reading level are four times less likely to graduate by the age of 18 in comparison to a 3rd grader who has proficient reading skills.
What are the benefits of summer learning?
What are the components of a good summer learning program?
How HealthStart addresses summer learning? Snack Science!
The HeathStart Foundation encompasses all these great summer learning factors! This summer we are hosting our Snack Science Summer Camp for the young children and their families with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin. This 7-week camp uses stories, science experiments, fun physical activities, and healthy snacks to fuel young minds while away from school for the summer. We do this with a series of interactive workshops in the community to teach children how their body works and “why” we eat and do certain things to keep our bodies healthy. Each lesson helps kids learn the science behind nutrition and fitness as well as social and emotional health. This is especially important to help children make good decisions about their health and the health of their community.
Throughout camp, kids and their families are introduced to new skills and new foods, or foods prepared in new ways. Each workshop is structured so children can easily apply what they learn during the workshops to their daily lives. The children try new foods or rediscover familiar fruits and vegetables by preparing them in fun, fresh ways. HealthStart sends the recipe for each snack home with the children so that they can make the snack with their families.
Children share what they learn with their families, strengthening peer, family, and community ties. As a result, our students become health “change agents,” influencing their families and community by changing how we eat, move, and live together.
Learn more about our Snack Science workshops here!