Summer learning loss happens when students are not actively reading nor learning during the summer months while they are off from school. How much the student regresses can be anywhere from a couple of months to half a school year depending on the research study that the information is taken from.
However, with this said, there are obvious solutions to halt the summer learning loss before it can happen. Just a few of the simple options involve learning online, visiting the library more frequently during the summer months, and working with tutors to strengthen their weaknesses as well.
Address Writing Skills
People often mistake the term literacy as just referring to reading. But literacy actually involves both reading and writing. And as educators that teach students how to correctly write essays and other papers know, if a student is not always sharpening their writing skills, they can be lost just like anything else during the summer learning slide.
Provide Students a Writing Care Package for the Summer
To ensure that the students maintain and even grown their writing skills during the summer, it would be wise for teachers of all ages to create a writing care package for the students to work on during those months they have off from the classroom.
There are plenty of options teachers can give students for writing during the summer that should make them excited about putting pen to paper or clicking away on the keyboard.
Create a Blog
It seems like just about everyone under the sun has their own blog nowadays dealing with a topic that the person holds near and dear. Why not have the students create a blog of their own on a subject matter that they enjoy? It could be about movies, books, video games, cooking, music, or anything else they feel inspired about. Plus, knowing that others will be reading it will encourage them to do their best writing as no one wants to submit less than desirable material to a world audience.
Write a Novel
Who says you have to reach middle age before you undertake writing a novel? Christopher Paolini wrote his novel Eragon, a story about dragons, knights, and prophecies, and it was a monstrous hit when he was just 19 years old. S.E. Hinton wrote her hit The Outsiders when she was only 16 years old. It is still a classic more than 50 years later. One of your students just might have the same ability as these two, but you won’t know it until you challenge them to write a novel during the summer.
In fact, LightSail offers a Student-Authored Books feature where students have the option to publish their books for free through LightSail and make them available to thousands of people all around the world. This might just provide the extra incentive to students who are interested in getting their work out to the public.
Write a Letter to a Loved One That Has Passed Away
While this writing project may be geared more towards the older students, it should get their interest pretty quick. Everyone would love to sit down and have one more discussion with a loved one that has passed. Now is the time. Write a letter during the summer to someone that you miss dearly or perhaps someone that you have some unfinished business with. There is something magical that happens when you actually take the time to put things into words, and something like this could be therapeutic for those that need closure.
With the number of newspapers, magazines, books, and websites out there currently, if a student really puts their mind to it, there is a good chance they could perhaps get something published during the summer. Have students set a goal to getting something they write published for all to see. Being able to call themselves a professional author should inspire them to jump into action.
Don’t Neglect Other Subjects During the Summer Either
Now that the students are motivated appropriately to write during the summer months, make sure they are also actively involved in learning about other subject matters. For instance, organizations such as LightSail offer specific programs to students, schools, and districts to combat summer learning loss. Sometimes these educational programs are free as well! LightSail provides an all-encompassing literacy program that will have students both reading and writing during the summer. Put them to good use and the students will return to school in a better position than when they left!