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Avoiding Summer Learning Loss

Friday, July 01, 2016

The loss of achievement gains students make during the previous school year when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer months is known as summer learning loss. Also called the summer slide, 25 percent of academic learning is lost during summer break according to the US Department of Education. While traditionally a concern in young children, it is important for students of all ages to keep their brains active during the summer to be ready to take on a new school year at full speed. Here are some tips on how you can avoid learning loss this summer and be ready to start your college career on the right path:

1. Learn a new skill. Summer is great time to learn something new because you may have a significant amount of free time. Try picking up an important life skill, such as cooking. This can be fun and rewarding, while integrating math, science and reading skills. Or, take some time to learn a new language. This is a great way to keep your brain active, but it will also make you more marketable and prepared for the future.

2. Create and get through a summer reading list. Studies have shown that just reading five to eight books over the summer is enough to stay on top of reading skills and avoid the summer slide. Get some suggestions from the librarian in your area or from the college you will be attending. Set goals for yourself, and track your accomplishments.

3. Get an internship. It is never too early to get ahead in your career. Contact businesses in your area to see if you can get a part-time job or internship in their office. Even if it is not paid, it will be a valuable experience that could keep your mind sharp. 

4. Take summer classes. Though the idea of spending your summer in the classroom might not sound ideal, there are many benefits to taking summer classes. Consider taking an online or hybrid course so you won’t miss out on the sunshine. The more you can do during the summer to lighten your course load during the academic year, the better.

These are just a few suggestions on how to keep busy this summer and prevent summer learning loss. Anything you do to keep your brain active will help you start college strong.

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