Summer Academics Challenge 2019

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If you are a listener of the podcast, you know that I have been thinking a lot about summer academics and how to keep up during the summer months.  The latest episode is all about learning loss during the summer and ideas on how to prevent it.

The “Summer Slide”

The summer slide is the given name for what academics students lose over the summer.  The latest research on the summer slide compares Map test scores of students throughout the year and over several grade levels.  What this research documents is how many points students typically gain on reading and math scales at each grade level vs. how many points students lose over the summer months.  What this research found is that summer learning loss is pretty consistent every summer at an average of 2 points lost over the summer for reading and 4 lost points for math.  What is interesting, however, is that the amount of points gained on the scale at each grade level lessens as kids get older.  For example, while a third grader might gain 13 points in reading on the scale over the school year a seventh grader only typically gains 5.  In terms of learning loss, this means that the average summer loss of two points represents a larger about of what was gained during the school year as kids move up in grade levels.

Year’s Past

I always have the best intentions at the start of summer. I start scrolling through Pinterest for ideas on how to keep my kids organized, motivated and productive and eventually generate some sort of elaborate plan for how to keep it all together (check out last year’s plan ). This year, I’m switching gears and have decided that less might be more this summer.

Our Plan

This year, I have significantly pared down my expectations to exactly what I expect from my kids in the hopes that keeping it simple will keep it doable.  This summer my kiddos will each be expected to read 20 minutes a day and do one page of a math workbook (our school sends a packet home).  Nothing more!  In fact, my first grade sat down to do more than a page last week and I told him no! I don’t want my kids to work on more than one page a day because I feel like it is more important to do a little daily than a lot early on and then be without practice later in the summer.

In addition to these simple daily tasks, we are trying to incorporate more math conversation into our daily lives.  We’ve just received a copy of the book Bedtime Math and it has quickly become my youngest’s go to bedtime book.  Every page has a short story and three math problems, each for a different age group.  In fact, all of my kids have been checking out the book as the leveled problems actually work for my 6, 10 and 12 year olds.  While I prefer the actual book to a tablet, Bedtime math is also available as a free app.

The Challenge

What’s a challenge got to do with summer academics? Well, while I’m over here trying to motivate my own kids, I thought I would try to motivate yours as well! This summer over on Instagram, Boys Built Better is running a summer academic challenge. Starting today, post a picture of your child reading or working on math with the hashtag #bbbsummerchallenge2019 to be entered to win a littleBits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit valued at almost $100!

How to Enter

Want to enter? Here’s how:

  1. Follow Boys Built Better on Instagram
  2. Post a picture of your child reading with the hashtag #bbbsummerchallenge2019 for 1 entry
  3. Post a picture of your child working on math with the hashtag #bbbsummerchallege2019 for an 1 entry
  4. Have multiple children? Enter each with separate pictures
  5. Enter daily though August 16!

Grand Prize

The littleBits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit is our grand prize and the winner will be announced on Instagram on August 19th.  But stay tuned for monthly prizes in addition to our grand prize!!!! So excited to see everyone keeping up with reading and math this summer!!!

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