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Combatting the 'summer slump' ahead of the new school year

Posted at 9:03 AM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 10:03:06-04

Call it the "Summer Slide," or simply learning loss — studies show it's real.

After months away from the classroom and likely spending lots of time this summer on screens, research suggests students tend to forget material taught the prior school year. That can sometimes lead to a slower start for the start of the fall semester. Dr. Teresa Flores, the center director for Sylvan Learning in Murfreesboro, offers some simple tricks for kicking the slide and starting school smart.

"Just sitting with your kids, especially when they're younger and reading with them,” is something Dr. Flores highly suggests. If your child would rather watch something, she says "there are lots of…apps where there are games and things where they can engage with learning as well,” many of which are on YouTube.

Experts also advise ridding the stigma of tutoring. Dr. Flores puts a spin on a smarter way of looking at curriculum assistance. "It's not just about being behind sometimes it's about getting ahead," she said.

For instance, at Sylvan Learning, Dr. Flores says, "it really isn't a taboo with us. Everybody's doing an individualized program, so nobody really knows what anybody else is doing. Everybody's improving somewhere, and it's just really important to focus on what is best for your child."

Dr. Flores said it's so important for students to get a head start and succeed right away so students aren’t constantly climbing out of a hole the entire semester, trying to catch up. She advises before school starts, to watch educational videos together and talk about them together.

"Take them to a museum or a place that spikes their curiosity.”

Of course, once school starts Dr. Flores recommends having an open dialogue with your child, and if they're younger, their teacher too, to see if they're in need of some extra assistance outside of the classroom. Whether it's talking to their teacher to see how you can help — or if they need some tutoring too.