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Catching Students up to Prevent Learning Loss From COVID-19 This Summer

Young girl reading a book outside
Time off is an essential part of any student's growth, but when the summer comes to a close, parents need to be sure that their teens are ready for another year of education. The summer of 2021 will be a particularly important season for encouraging continued cognitive development outside of the classroom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The term learning loss describes the way students naturally lose the skills they develop in the classroom without enough practice. Too much time away from their studies can inhibit a student's ability to transition back into the school atmosphere. Just like any muscle, a teen's brain needs exercise to stay sharp. Otherwise, they may lose some of what they've learned. Recent research shows that in some groups 52% of students experience learning loss during the summer. These students lose an average of 39% of their class lessons.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a variety of temporary changes to school systems across the United States. Many of these changes limited direct contact between teachers and students. Some students may have missed out on essential lessons entirely. This summer, it's important to discuss solutions for how students can catch up due to COVID-19 and its effect on the education system.
To ease students' transitions from vacation and keep their education on track, parents should make extra efforts to keep their teen’s minds sharp. Here are a few tips.

Set Routines and Make Time for Learning

It's important for teens to use their summers to get a break from their rigorous school routines, but they should still have some structure and intentional learning opportunities. 

Parents should work with their students to develop daily regimens that encourage healthy habits they can use when the school year resumes. These routines should keep teens on a consistent sleeping and eating schedule while also including activities like reading books, writing responses and presenting what they learn. 

Other great learning activities to implement include using math or science games and apps, journaling or taking trips to educational centers or museums. Many of these activities are intrinsically valuable, but it can be helpful to create opportunities for students to show their takeaways from different activities or trips. 

A parent can maximize the benefits of their teen's routine by prioritizing goals and monitoring their progress. Keeping a consistent schedule that encourages learning can ensure that students are ready for the school year when the summer winds down. 

Identify Areas Where Your Teen Could Benefit From Additional Support and Connect With Your School

As with any learning process, students can build and maintain motivation during their summer learning routines by putting their strongest skills to work. While there's great value in exercising strengths, the best way to prepare students for the new school year's challenges is to work on their weaknesses.

When parents keep their teens on consistent summer routines and set actionable goals, they'll start to understand where the student struggles. These areas for improvement can influence the routines parents develop for their teens. 

Addressing weaknesses during the summer can ensure students' continued development and preparedness for the next year. But schools recognize that parents aren't professional educators. Many educational institutions and private organizations will provide resources like tutors or enrichment courses tailored toward a student's areas for improvement. 

As you implement your student's summer learning plans, keep in touch with their school to discuss opportunities for additional support. 

Start Early With Any Summer Prerequisites

Many teachers will require their students to complete prerequisite assignments before school starts. This approach is likely to grow in prominence in the immediate years after the COVID-19 pandemic. In most cases, teachers will provide these materials early in the summer with the intention of giving their students plenty of time to complete them. 

Parents should make sure that their kids start their prerequisite assignments as early as possible, especially during the summer of 2021. Learning loss worsens over time, meaning the longer a student waits to do their assignments, the further removed they'll be from the previous year's ideas. Starting early can prevent learning loss and mitigate the stress summer assignments can cause. 

Students at Wilbraham & Monson Academy can browse our prerequisite summer assignments online to get an early start. 

Keep Your Child's Education on Track With Wilbraham & Monson Academy

The past school year was challenging for everyone, and this coming year presents an opportunity to reclaim normalcy. Students must return to school ready to grow. Parents can ensure their children are where they should be when school resumes by including dedicated time for cognitive enrichment and paying close attention to areas of need.

At Wilbraham & Monson Academy, we encourage our students to seek challenges and meet them head-on. Our programs can help children's minds develop at the right rate, no matter the obstacles. Visit our site to learn more about educational opportunities at Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

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