Why (And How) To Make Summer A Learning Extravaganza

Summer break: a time for teachers and students alike to leave the grind behind and enjoy themselves. Right? But why is there a summer break, anyway? Is it good for students to have a summer break, or even necessary? The handy infographic below explores some of those questions, and additionally offers some fun summer reading ideas for younger students. Keep reading to learn more.

Where Did Summer Break Come From?

  • Summer break originated from the need of families to have their students working on the farm during the growing season. Less than 4% of students are currently involved in agriculture, so there isn’t much of a real need for this anymore.
  • The belief that hot, crowded environments spread disease also made people fear going to school in the summer.
  • The upper class traditionally vacationed in the summer, making it inconvenient for their students to go to school.
  • About 10% of US students have lost their summer break – a number that grows each year!

Summer Learning Loss

  • Summer learning loss is worst in math and spelling. The average setback is 2.6 months in math and 2 months in spelling.
  • 17% of the new school year is spent reteaching information forgotten over the summer.
  • Only about 9% of students attend summer learning programs.
  • Learning loss is worse for low income students than for middle class students.

#1 Books For Summer Reading

  • Starting Kindergarten: Dr. Seuss books (various)
  • Starting 1st Grade: Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • Starting 2nd Grade: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Starting 3rd Grade: Summer Reading is Killing Me by John Scieszka