School keeps children mentally stimulated and in a routine that helps them learn – both of which are key to their academic success. For many kids, summer is synonymous with fun and relaxation – but it can also be an opportunity to catch up to grade level expectations. For children who are behind in reading or math (or both), summer is the perfect opportunity to make up ground before they enter the fall semester.
Summer is coming, and with it comes a time to close learning gaps
Summer offers us the gift of time, which can be used to focus on remediation.
Closing significant learning gaps, especially for children with dyslexia and ADHD, requires time, consistency, and intensity, which might not be available during the school year. Many children may only get two hours per week of tutoring which isn’t always enough if there are extreme learning gaps. Also, during the school year, many kids may be mentally drained from the long strenuous school day. During summer, we can work on targeting all gaps in all areas without the exhaustion from school.
Many families prioritize fun and travel during the summer break, and we cannot emphasize its importance. However, for families with children a year or more behind, summer is the best time to close learning gaps so upcoming summers can be light, fun, and carefree.
Early intervention is the key to success. The earlier you start addressing the learning gap, the better results you’ll see in the long term.
The Summer Slide
The “summer slide,” or loss of learning during the summer months, is a real thing that can have lasting effects on your child’s development. Some studies show that students can lose about 20-30% of what they learned in school during the summer.
For the most part, students lose math and reading knowledge over the summer.
High-quality summer learning programs can accelerate learning and help students develop skills that impact academic achievement.
Take action to help close learning gaps
Our SMART Summer Program was designed specifically for this reason. We focus on intensity, frequency, and time to close significant gaps in areas like reading, math, and writing.
We address all five pillars of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. In this program, children get one hour of 1:1 time every day!
As part of our SMART Summer Program, we also incorporate the renowned Fast For Word program—a cognitive training software designed to target the root cause of reading struggles in the brain. Students will also have personalized math support to help them feel more confident and ready for the upcoming school year.
It usually takes one (or two in extreme cases) intensive summers to help close the learning gap. So it’s important to take the time to turn the intensity dial all the way up during summer. While it might be tricky to convince yourself (or your child) that this is the right thing to do, your child’s academic advances will prove you right.
Besides a structured program, looking at ways to prevent the summer slide and keep your child engaged during the summer break is critical. You may find it helpful to talk with other parents about what worked well for them last year when their child was struggling at school; perhaps they may have some ideas about how you could spend time together during these months.