While it’s natural for students’ academic engagement to drop off in the summer months, the lack of structure late spring paired with the unknowns of the fall has resulted in an even steeper pit of unproductivity. This very understandable, of course, but can have damaging effects to students beyond blank spots on their activity resumes. Studies show that during the summer, when students neglect to review and practice their skills, they retain less information learned in the previous year and approach the upcoming school year with less engagement (Ohsie-Frauenhofer).
Not only does this affect students’ academic achievements, but it can also affect their standardized testing performances. At the end of the summer, students are typically less sharp in their reading and arithmetic skills - this combined with the lack of testing availability because of Covid-19 restrictions this fall means that students may not test as well as they could have, and, unfortunately, they may not get the chance to test again (Ohsie-Frauenhofer).
That being said, students can prevent lower scores and lost knowledge. Experts, teachers, and tutors recommend reading. Students don’t need to reread the previous year’s books and textbooks, but rather they can stay sharp engaging in literature they enjoy, including beach reads, fiction, news articles, audiobooks, and more (Ohsie-Frauenhofer). Experts also recommend that students should occasionally write and solve math problems similar to those they learned the previous school year.
Finally, encourage students to explore new interests and experiences. Just because Covid-19 limits opportunities doesn’t mean students don’t have any. Whether they try out a new podcast, go on a hike, or pick up a new creative outlet, new activities will relieve them of coronavirus anxiety and inspire them to think purposefully. Be sure to check out our article “Volunteer Opportunities During Covid-19” for more ideas!