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How to Curtail Summer Learning Loss

This article is part 8 of 10 in the column Simple Words

Leave behind the morning routines, after-school activities, and weekend games: summer is here!

Forget about tears at school pickups and about meltdowns during homework. Now is the time to relax and enjoy the sun. But don’t throw the schoolbooks out the window just yet.

While summer break is an excellent time for all children to recharge their batteries, a long break from academics can result in learning losses both in reading and math. This is especially true for children with learning differences. If losses accumulate over the years, these children can fall even further behind their peers. Considering this, parents of children with dyslexia might just need to sprinkle carefree summers with some educational activities.

Summer can be a great time to polish up reading and math skills to narrow the gap that might already exist. Unlike during the school year, focusing on one subject at a time without the distraction of other classes could result in significant gains in a short period of time. These months are also a good time to explore the curriculum of the upcoming academic year. Reading ahead in textbooks could help better prepare children for the school year.

But don’t fret. This does not mean the entire summer break needs to be filled with math facts, phonics, and worksheets. For children with learning difficulties, summer is a time for them to unwind and focus on what is truly important: self-confidence.

The heavy demands of the school year push up the frustration level for students with dyslexia. Anxiety is a symptom many of these children experience way too early and frequently. Summers without heavy academic stress could be ideal for easing their anxiety and strengthening their self-confidence. Spend time on activities that naturally engage them and come easy to them. Spark interest in learning beyond academics. Learning a new skill, playing a new instrument, visiting new places, and meeting new people can create long-lasting happy memories.

Make the best of these summer months: enjoy the time off with loved ones and continue to grow the love of learning!


Cigdem Knebel

cknebelCigdem Knebel is the founder of Simple Words Books, a parent of a dyslexic child, and author of Sam Is Stuck, a chapter book for young dyslexics. She believes that all children love to read—they just need to find that right book for them.

Her mission is to help young dyslexics, and reluctant and early readers with fluency, comprehension and, most importantly, self-confidence. She accomplishes this by publishing fiction books, and reading and phonics practice resources with the skills of young dyslexics in mind.


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