For a century, people have been concerned about summer learning loss, with studies conducted to learn more about knowledge loss over summer breaks. Not surprisingly, as research has taken off, findings have become more nuanced; what happens during the summer, learning loss-wise, is affected by how students spend their time away from the classroom. It helps to have quality school resources and community support, which varies by location. 

In other words, no two experiences among students are exactly alike. So, what do we really know about this kind of knowledge and achievement loss? These three summer learning loss statistics help put things in perspective.

#1: A Drop in Achievement Test Scores

To draw conclusions from a range of studies conducted on summer learning loss, Sage Journals reviewed 39 of them and isolated the most recent 13 research projects to come up with summer learning loss statistics. The conclusion is that, on average, student achievement declined by an entire month’s worth of learning over summer break.

#2: A Loss in Gains for 3rd-5th Graders

According to, research indicates that children in grades three through five lose about 20% of gains made in reading over the summer break and about 27% of their gains in math. These three years are critical, as students build the skill set foundations needed to transition to middle school and beyond. These include their ability to read well and understand what they read, as well as firming up their understanding of key math concepts.

#3: Elementary School Students Lose Ground

When broadening our perspective to look at elementary school students, overall, 70-78% of students lost ground in their math skills, with 62-73% of them losing ground in reading abilities. The most troublesome time is between fifth and sixth grade, which is when many students are transitioning between elementary and middle school. That summer, a full 84% of students showed summer slides in math.

Although each of these studies may find somewhat different results among their specific populations studied, the overall conclusion is the same: summer learning loss occurs. Fortunately, enriching programs during the summer can help to stop the slide!

Horizon Education Center’s Summer Camp

Enrolling in Horizon’s summer camp is an excellent way to curb the impact of summer learning loss. Available for children in kindergarten through 12 years of age, our summer camp provides fun activities and project-based learning opportunities to keep brains active and bodies healthy.

Educational activities are in art, science, math, and technology with a summer reading program. We also include weekly field trips and themed activities, with breakfast and lunch provided each day. Register today!

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