Updated: Apr 21
If your child is falling behind in reading it can be scary for you as a parent and frustrating for your reader. Experiencing additional learning loss over the summer is not a new phenomena but certainly something to be aware of, more than ever, this year.
If you’re concerned your child may be falling behind in reading and you want to take the right steps to bridge the gap, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together this handy guide to address some of your most important questions.
What is Learning Loss?
You may have heard it called summer setback or summer slide, but it's all the same and it all adds up to a child entering a new school year at a lower level than when they left for summer break. Studies show that over the summer, students lose anywhere from 1 month to 20-30% of the previous school year’s learning. Learning loss can be an issue in both math and reading. As students become older, summer learning loss seems to grow, too. This makes older students especially at risk for being behind at the beginning of a new school year.
Why Does it Happen?
Learning loss can happen for any number of reasons. Studies show that summer learning loss is more prevalent and occurs at a larger rate in students who come from lower income homes. This could be due to less availability of resources.
Over the past few years, more students have been at higher risk of increased learning loss than ever due to interruptions in learning caused by the pandemic. Additionally, distance learning didn’t work optimally for every learner or in every home. Many parents found themselves spread too thin, trying to work remotely while also monitoring their child’s schooling. Many educators are finding learning loss to be at an all time high.
Why Does it Matter?
Of course, all children learn at different paces and in different ways. But, as students get older, a student who is below grade level in reading will suffer across all subjects. If your child can’t read on grade level, they will struggle to complete word problems in math class, research papers in history class, and lab reports in science class. Reading is part of every school subject and almost every aspect of life.
While an early learning gap in reading might seem like a non issue, as children age, if it is not addressed and corrected, the gap will grow larger, filter over into all areas, and become more difficult to bridge. These students may grow even more reluctant and resistant to reading.
How Can I Begin to Bridge the Gap?
Here are 3 proven strategies for bridging the learning gap before it gets too large:
1. Depending on how large the gap has become, you may be able to bridge it by spending just 15 minutes a night reading with your child. It’s even better if you can personalize the book selections to your child’s interests to keep them motivated.
2. Encourage your child to use their daily allotted screen time on learning apps and reading programs. If you are looking for a list of excellent resources to use with your child, you can check out my 7 favorite learning apps for reluctant readers. Learning apps and online programs help to engage your child by utilizing multi-sensory learning activities.
3. If the gap has grown quite large, think a
grade level or more, it’s time to consider 1:1 reading tutoring. 1:1 reading tutoring works well for students who are more than a grade level behind because they receive personalized, individual learning instruction where their exact learning needs are assessed and addressed.
Why is it Important to Act FAST?
Studies show that the longer you wait to address learning loss and begin the process of bridging the gap, the longer it will take to get your reader caught up. As soon as you recognize the issue, you will want to take steps to intervene. If you’re not certain if your child is behind, you can download this checklist with 8 reading red flags as a resource or schedule a reading assessment for your child.
A child who is reading on level or above is more confident and successful in all subjects, and that’s what we all want!
IF YOU’RE CONCERNED THAT YOUR CHILD HAS SUFFERED LEARNING LOSS AND YOU’RE READY TO BRIDGE THE READING GAP, LET’S CONNECT AND CHAT ABOUT MY PRIVATE 1:1 ONLINE READING TUTORING!