While it is a great time for students to kick back and enjoy the time off, too much free time in the summer can be a bad thing if it leads to regressive habits or learning loss.
However, supplemental tutoring can help students keep from falling behind and avoid the dreaded summer slide. With the right program, teachers, administrators, and parents can support students and keep them from losing ground and in turn maintaining their learning accomplishments.
What is the Summer Slide?
The summer slide is the tendency of students to lose some achievement gains they’ve made during the previous school year. According to James Kim, Ed.D., assistant professor of education at Harvard University, the youngest students are the most prone to learning loss because they’re at a crucial developmental stage.
Also, those from historically disadvantaged student groups tend to experience the slide without the proper parent, teacher, and community support interventions.
Right now, educators and even politicians are seeing a massive slide and learning loss across the board. In fact, according to a recent Reuters article, “Students on average are two to four months behind in reading and math as a result of the pandemic,” a White House official said.
The learning loss is so dire that the same official said the “U.S. is recruiting more than 250,000 mentors and tutors to help students who have fallen behind in their learning during the coronavirus pandemic and will be allocating approximately $122 billion in funds provided by the American Rescue Plan COVID-relief package to provide high-quality tutoring, summer learning and enrichment, and afterschool programs.”
At a time when students of varied backgrounds, socio-economic status, and learning levels are experiencing gaps, many educators worry they will undoubtedly be starting the academic year with students whose achievement levels are lower than where they were at the beginning of summer break.
The summer slide is at an all-time high and teachers, administrators, and parents are all feeling the sting of disparity in academic performance.
So, what do we do?
Benefits of Summer Tutoring
Summer tutoring can help students avoid learning loss, consolidate learning and fill any gaps in education. It can also help them learn important life skills, keep children in the learning mindset, provide enrichment opportunities, and stave off boredom.
Avoid Learning Loss and Consolidate Learning
In the fall, teachers spend a significant amount of time reteaching concepts that should have been mastered and retained from the year prior. This is why so much of the K-12 curriculum can feel redundant for teachers and students. However, these redundancies are typically built into the first six weeks of the academic calendar to catch everyone up and get students on an “even playing field” so to speak.
Although, it doesn’t have to be that way. If students can have summer tutoring that reinforces their learning or even helps fill gaps from the year prior, students and teachers can start the year learning new material and concepts. This can help teachers maintain their students’ engagement since many tend to grow bored if they’ve heard or learned something before.
Also, these programs have been shown to help students and teachers scaffold their learning in meaningful ways and bring them to a deeper level of understanding and knowledge.
Learn Important Life Skills
Summer is the perfect opportunity for children to practice important life skills like intrinsic motivation, organization, time management, communication skills, future goal setting, as well as computer skills.
Tutors can help students further develop these skills and put them into practice. This in turn helps them have more control over their studies and schedules and become self-guided lifelong learners.
Keep Children in the Learning Mindset
Tutoring can help students maintain a learning routine. During the summer months routines in general can fall to the wayside - especially if students don’t adhere to some sort of a schedule or structure. Bad habits can start to form and can make it much more difficult when they come back after the summer break.
Provide Enrichment Opportunities and Stave off Boredom
When students are learning something new and something that actually piques their interest - they become enthralled with their learning. Most won’t even realize how hard they are working when it comes to learning anything and everything about something that excites them. Summer is the perfect time for enrichment classes that peak students’ personal interests in order to continue to cultivate a love of learning and to stave off the summertime boredom blues.
The benefits of summer tutoring can go on and on. Sometimes the most difficult part can be finding a good tutor or tutoring program. This can seem daunting if your school or district doesn’t or can’t provide tutoring resources or programs.
But, we’ve got you covered.
With Proximity, Districts get On-Demand Tutoring
This solution means districts can choose an allotted number of tutoring hours for each student. Other key offerings include tutors available on-demand over chat and livestream video, progress tracking with progression dashboards, and online whiteboarding, file sharing, and feedback systems.
This is not just a click and watch video tutoring service. This is engaging and dynamic programming to help not only catch students up in the summer, but also help them stay on level all school year.
With Proximity Learning On-Demand Tutoring, districts can customize and tailor tutoring programs to the student’s learning needs. The great thing is that it’s not only available in the summer but can also be implemented year-round.
Also, Proximity’s tutoring programs grant access to an Educational Support System with a rich library of over 10,000 hours of video, lessons, and materials covering all levels of education. This Educational Support System includes pre- and post-assessments to monitor student growth.
All students everywhere deserve access to the best educational programming - period. And together, we can help bring equity to millions of students nationwide who might be struggling with the summer slide or other educational achievement gaps. On the flipside, all students deserve dynamic educational services and tutors that get them excited about learning, no matter where they are at in their academic careers.
I once had a mentor say that the greatest thing I could do as an educator was instill a love of learning and inquiry in all my students.
She said that eventually I wouldn’t be their teacher anymore and they’d have to go out into the world and teach themselves. But if I’d done my job right and helped them create those a-ha and exciting moments, they’d remember the joy of learning and persist despite the difficulties.