School Year 2020-2021 is already over in some private schools. Some schools are almost finished. ‘Summer’ break for the students is fast approaching, same goes with Summer Slide or what people know as Summer Learning Loss.
What is Summer Slide or Learning Loss?
Have you heard of Learning Loss? It is a phenomena where students forget what they have learned in the previous school year. According to Forbes, children lose up to 40% of learning over summer break. This reference is Western in context but is still applicable in the Philippines.
There are long-term economic effects for this loss. According to Hanushek, A. & Woessmann, L. (2020), the two main impacts are:
1) Affected students whose schooling has been interrupted by the pandemic face long-term losses in income. Hence, they might not be equipped with the skills that they need in the future. They might be equipped but would that be enough and of high standards?
2) National economies that go forward with a less-skilled labor force face lower economic growth which subtracts from the overall welfare of society. This is the collective economic impact of summer slide or learning loss.
What can we do about it?
UNESCO-McKinsey & Company suggested ways on how to cope.
The first is to allow students more time to learn. This could be through summer classes, weekend catch-up, or adding extra time at the end of the day. A second approach involves dedicated attention through smaller breakout groups or one-to-one tutoring for the most disadvantaged learners.
As an elementary teacher, I believe that there are various ways on how to avoid or lessen the impact brought by learning loss. My suggestion is acronym LENS.
Literacy, Enjoyment, Numeracy, and Skills.
How to Avoid Learning Loss
- Give them activities related to LITERACY. This includes reading, writing, and even journaling.
- Enjoyment refers to the games that they can do at home. Board games are perfect examples for this.
- Numeracy refers to activities related to Math. Students, if given enough time during summer, can always review what their Math lessons are.
- Skills refer to new skills that students can learn over the summer break. This could be any household chores, or any entrepreneurial skills.
To do this, here is a concrete example of a student’s weekly activity.
Parents do not need to spend a lot just to avoid learning loss. By being consistent, they can manage how their children cope up with the challenges in learning specially this pandemic. Also, there are online classes that parents may consider if they would like enrichment programs for their kids.
If you are looking for fun activities this summer, check this out.
Here is the pdf version of this article. Thank you and have fun reading and learning.