The carefree days of summer are on the horizon and already students are making plans for traveling, working, interning, or simply relaxing. But, while these days are much cherished and long-awaited, for many, summer can lead to what is known colloquially in the educational world as “summer slide.”
This phenomenon relates to students who take summer as a time to turn completely away from learning, thus letting their knowledge atrophy in the crucial months before a new school year comes to pass.
Research shows that students who don’t participate in some type of academically enriching activity during these months are at risk for losing a percentage of the learning they acquired during the previous academic year. Some studies report that students can lose a month or more of their learned skills by the time they resume school in the fall. A December 2011/January 2012 Educational Leadership magazine article by Lorna Smith states, “summer learning loss is cumulative” and can contribute to long-term achievement deficits.
To help counteract summer slide, most experts recommend that students take part in an academic activity during the summer. These students can have an easier transition back to school, and even earn better grades during the school year. But with many families scheduling vacation, sports clinics, and other activities during the summer, it can be challenging to fit learning time into the plan.
Families looking for a flexible summer academic option might consider pursuing an online course through a school such as Laurel Springs.
Laurel Springs offers an extensive catalog of courses during the summer sessions. The semester-length courses take six weeks, and the year-long courses take twelve weeks. Laurel Springs also offers a variety of elective courses for students to pursue passions they may not be able to fit into their regular schedules during the traditional school year.
Because these courses follow an accelerated schedule, it is important for students to apply time management skills and stay in frequent contact with their teachers. To find out more about taking a class to fit your student’s unique schedule, visit the Laurel Springs course catalog, online at Laurelsprings.com/academics/summer-program.