I have been reading several articles lately on the subject of Learning Loss in summer. According to several studies significant learning loss can take place in children during summer or out-of-school months. In a study conducted by Cooper et al  it has been found that summer learning loss can be the equivalent of a at least one month of instruction. That number is staggering! So what can us as educators and parents do to help with this statistic? There are many ideas out there that can help combat this problem.
1) Check out a program called “United we Serve: Let’s Read, Let’s Move”
It was announced earlier this week that First Lady Michelle Obama would be volunteering to help prevent summer learning loss. She had this to say about the topic,
“We also know that during the summer, when our kids take a break from school, too many of them experience what they call summer learning loss,” Mrs. Obama said. “And a lot of kids sometimes find that they forget some of the things that they learned throughout the school years, and as a result, if they stop learning through the summer, they can fall behind and then they’re struggling throughout the year.”
The program encourages children to maintain healthy reading and eating habits over the summer when children are more likely to regress to old ways or take on bad habits.
2) Start a Summer Reading Club
I have implemented Summer Reading Clubs with much success in the past, stay tuned for a more detailed article on this coming soon. Encouraging children to read over the summer will help to prevent Language Arts learning loss and perhaps even help with reinforcing or building their vocabulary.
3) Visit museums
Alright, alright I can envision your kids telling you, “We’re going to a museum? Boring!” I know I have and must admit as I kid I may have been guilty of saying the same thing as a child. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Gone are the days when museums are only about looking and not touching. Many Children’s museums today provide hands on, interactive, and interesting experiences geared towards young visitors. For instance at our local Science Museum children can feel what its like to lie on a bed of nails or experience what an Earthquake feels like. What the children perceive as fun playtime can actually also be fulfilling various education standards. To find a local Children’s Museum near you check out at http://www.childrensmuseums.org/visit/visit.htm
Cooking with your kids provides many learning opportunities to them. They will be using their sequencing skills and measurement skills which are great because mathematics skills are often those that suffer the greatest during the summer months. Cooking with your children will also provide them lasting family memories for many years to come.
I think Summer time can still be fun for children without having to sacrifice what they have learned throughout the school year. Taking the time to be a bit proactive about it and planning enrichment activities for children during the summer may give students a better start to the next school year.
What ideas do you have for combating Summer Learning Loss? Do you agree that Summer Learning Loss can occur in children?
 Summer Learning Loss: The Problem and Some Solutions, Cooper, Harris (May
2003), from The Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting (CEEP),