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End the Summer Slide with Summer Solutions

summer slideAhh, summer! Who doesn’t look forward to a couple months of warmth, sunshine, and some well-deserved R&R? Don’t worry, it’ll be here before you know it. But, as it so often goes, with the good comes the bad–the summer slide.

The Research

Parents, teachers, and researchers all know that summer learning loss, or the summer slide, is REAL. Decades of research confirm this: When students are not actively engaged in educational activities for several weeks, they lose valuable skills—particularly in reading and math. McCombs and colleagues (2011) note that typical elementary students lose one month of instruction. The loss is even greater for students from low-income families. Worse yet, if the slide occurs summer after summer, the learning loss is cumulative. This compound effect may have a detrimental impact on students’ success, including high school completion, college education, and being prepared for general workforce requirements.

At the beginning of each school year, teachers spend six weeks—or more—reteaching “old material” that students have learned but forgotten. This re-teaching dramatically decreases the amount of time teachers can spend on new material. It contributes to a cycle of learning, forgetting, and needing to relearn, which is frustrating to both teachers and students.


Summer Slide

The SUMMER Solution

Summer Solutions workbooks are an effective and affordable way to provide ongoing review and practice. A natural extension of Simple Solutions, Summer Solutions combines retrieval practice, spacing, and interleaving, three powerful learning strategies that ensure mastery for a lifetime!

  • Retrieval practice is calling to mind (retrieving) what has been learned. Retrieval requires putting forth some effort and really thinking about a concept. This reinforces learning and makes it easier to retrieve in the future.
  • Spaced repetition is practicing repeatedly over time. During short study sessions, students revisit and interact with previously learned skills and concepts. It’s the opposite of massed practice, or “cramming.”
  • Interleaving is alternating among several different types of problems during a single practice session. It forces students to think about each problem and decide how to solve it, rather than mindlessly applying the same steps to every item on a page.


For children in Pre-K through Grade 8, Summer Solutions workbooks provide practice in math, problem solving, English grammar, reading, and study skills. Each Summer Solutions workbook contains 30 lessons, along with Help Pages and an answer key for self-checking.

We recommend students complete three lessons per week over the summer break. By spacing the lessons over a ten-week period, students can return to school in the fall, having retained what they learned and ready to begin learning new material right away.

For more information, visit the Summer Solutions website.

About the author


Marge is a writer here at Simple Solutions. She has Elementary and Special Education degrees from Notre Dame College. For 17 years, she taught both second and third grades at St. Paschal Baylon School in Ohio, the first school to use Simple Solutions. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and visiting US National Parks with her husband.

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