What is summer learning loss, and how can it be prevented?

3 min read

Although learning loss often takes place during the school holidays (known most commonly as summer learning loss), there’s currently additional concern that school closures may have exaggerated its effect.

This may sound worrying, but the good news is that there’s no need to fret! Whether your child has been set lots of work by their school or you think they may be a little behind, there are lots of ways they can soon get back on track.

What is summer learning loss?

Summer learning loss is the decline of knowledge that can occur when a child is away from school for a prolonged period of time. It usually takes place when children aren’t regularly revising key knowledge they’ve been taught in the classroom.

What impact have school closures had on learning loss?

As schools haven’t been closed for such a prolonged period of time since World War II, education specialists aren’t quite sure how much of an impact the closures will have had. 

Tes Global found that 70% of teachers don’t think pupils have adapted well to distance learning, while the Best Schools Guide found that over half of parents are unhappy with their child’s academic progress during lockdown. Most worryingly, there’s concern that isolation away from their peers will have resulted in a decline in children’s wellbeing.

However, it’s not all bad news. Interactive learning methods, such as live or recorded videos, interactive experiences such as DoodleMaths and real life projects, have been well received by teachers, parents and pupils. Even if your school isn’t using these techniques, you can easily bring them into your own home learning.

How can learning loss be prevented?

Overcoming learning loss doesn’t mean that your child needs to buckle down with mountains of books and wave goodbye to their summer.

The key to beating brain drain isn’t to try and learn as many new topics as possible to get ahead in the curriculum. Instead, it’s to practise and revise areas that have already been taught for a few minutes every day, or ‘little and often’. 

Zone of Proximal DevelopmentBy doing this, children will be able to maintain and consolidate their existing knowledge. Then, once they’ve mastered what they’ve already been taught, you can gradually introduce new concepts while they continue their revision of the original topics.

To really level up their learning, working in the zone of proximal development – what a child can do with and without help – is also key. By setting work that’s not too easy or too hard, children can work independently and continually progress. This will also help to build their confidence! 

Although this sounds fantastic in theory, you may be wondering, ‘How can I do all this at home?’. Well, that’s where DoodleMaths comes in! 

Combating learning loss with DoodleMaths

According to a study by the University of Bath, using DoodleMaths for just 20 minutes a week is scientifically proven to prevent learning loss. In fact, children who used it over the summer scored an average of 9.4% higher in maths tests upon their return to school than those who didn’t!

DoodleMaths creates a personalised work programme for each child based around their strengths and weaknesses. By revising tricky topics and gradually introducing new areas, children can continually progress through the curriculum, making it the perfect way for children to catch up and then get ahead in their learning. 

Best of all, DoodleMaths is designed to be used little and often, so it easily fits around your summer activities. It can even be accessed offline, so children can use it outdoors in the sunshine!

Children using DoodleMaths can join the DoodleMaths Summer Challenge, which is designed to inspire them to continue their learning at home over the summer. Plus, all those who take part can earn an exclusive pin badge and certificate!

By incorporating interactive educational experiences such as DoodleMaths into your summer, your child can get back on track in their learning in no time. Why not get started with a free 7-day trial of DoodleMaths today? 

Use the code summer2020 to receive 50% off 3 months of DoodleMaths Premium!

Offer ends 31/08/20. Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit website for full details.

Article by Lucy Hart

Doodle empowers learners to achieve confidence in maths and English. Our intelligent technology creates individual work programmes which are motivational, affordable and convenient to use.