Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. Final exams are over for many high schools across the United States, and summer vacation begins. Now comes the real challenge for educators and parents: stemming the learning loss that occurs during the summer months.
Summer is when students tend to lose the academic gains they made during the school year — a condition that was exacerbated by months of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research shows that students can fall behind in math and reading skills and that scores on standardized tests taken at the end of the summer are lower than scores on the same test taken at the beginning of the summer.
To combat learning loss, libraries can create rewarding, interactive learning opportunities that prepare teens for college and careers while accommodating their individual needs and busy summer schedules.
Create Rewarding Learning Opportunities
Summer is a great time to learn in a more relaxed environment, one without the pressure of ongoing class assignments. (Maybe by the pool or at the beach?) Students can use the summer to build core skills at their own pace or focus on interests that they don’t have time to fully explore during the school year. Examples of good summer learning opportunities include those that enable students to:
- Improve key math skills
- Become better readers and writers
- Learn how to improve computer skills by learning to use popular Microsoft software applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint
- Get a jump on preparing for college admissions tests such as the SAT®, ACT® and AP® exams
- Research colleges
- Explore potential careers and search for summer internships
Accommodate Teens’ Needs and Summer Schedules
Students are more likely to embrace summer learning if they control how and when it occurs. Online resources that provide self-directed study fit well with teens’ summer lifestyles, giving them the flexibility to work around summer jobs, beach trips and social commitments, and enabling them to learn anytime, anywhere, and on any mobile device.
Engage Students with Interactive Resources
Interactive resources with built-in feedback on progress are essential for successful summer study. Real-time feedback promotes active learning, enables students to build skills on their own, and gives them information about which topics they know well and which they need to work on.
Find Online Programs Geared to High School Students
When evaluating learning tools, educators and parents should seek an easy-to-use online platform that features a variety of resources to facilitate student engagement. Look for a selection of different resource types such as interactive tutorials, microlessons, practice tests, flashcards and e-books. Students should receive personalized score reports that identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as recommended resources for further study.
PrepSTEP for High Schools Can Help
EBSCO LearningExpress offers a dynamic, award-winning learning platform, PrepSTEP for High Schools, that can help keep learning afloat in the summer. PrepSTEP provides high schools with valuable resources for self-directed student learning. All these resources are designed for independent study which makes PrepSTEP an asset for summer learning.
Whether students use PrepSTEP, attend summer school, or employ other methods of learning during the summer, they can become strong swimmers, ready to rise to the surface like Olympic champions when school resumes in the fall.