The Summer Slide and the benefits of Private Lessons

The traditional long summer holiday often results in serious learning loss, something researchers have known for many years now. This wealth of study has shown that students routinely score lower on tests at the end of summer break than they did just a few months earlier.

After the pre-summer academic testing period children are ready for a well-earned break and summer is the best time to relax and recharge your batteries. However, research suggests that students lose 20-30% of their maths, reading and language skills from the previous school year. Incorporating learning into the summer holidays is more important than ever if you want your child to have an advantage when returning to embark on the next milestone.

When it comes to summer learning loss, maths takes one of the biggest hits. On average, students lose about 2.6 months’ worth of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills during their summer break.

Summer learning loss isn’t a temporary phenomenon. Losses can accumulate over years, eventually resulting in students who perform below their grade level.

When it comes to helping summer learning loss, parents have a key role to play. Learning loss is much less pronounced in families that enrolled children in classes, took trips to local libraries, participated in reading programs, or took advantage of other, learning opportunities. Numerous studies have shown that children have much better reading outcomes when parents are involved in learning about and helping their children with literacy.

Summer learning loss isn’t just bad for students, it also makes things more difficult for educators. In order to come back from losses caused by an extended time away from school, teachers must spend a month or more re-teaching or reviewing material students have already been taught. It goes without saying that this is a huge waste of valuable classroom time that could be better spent teaching students’ new material.

Perhaps this may be a good time to enlist the services of a private tutor before they get booked up at the beginning of the new school term. Tutoring boosts confidence and gives previously underperforming children a track record of success. For pupils who are already doing well, tutoring can offer scope for fine-tuning exam and revision technique.

If you do hire a tutor, regular sessions maintain momentum. Once a week is typical, once a fortnight at a push but any less frequent and the benefits are likely to be lost in between meetings. 

Often the best way to find a tutor is to go on the personal recommendation of someone you know. The most important factor is whether the tutor can develop a rapport with your child. Just because a tutor has worked wonders with a friend’s offspring doesn’t mean they will be able to do the same for yours.

As private tuition is usually one-to-one, tutors and students can work more closely and develop stronger relationships than would otherwise not be possible in a larger class.  The impact that this can have on a student is invaluable, as teachers will be able to get to know their students better, and so will find it easier to spot potential problems and give them assistance.  For shy students, being in a learning environment with less people can also help them to express themselves, as they are under less pressure from their peers.