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A Common Pitfall of Summer Break: Summer Learning Loss

Boys Town National Research Hospital logo​Contact: Yoyo Ma
Specialist, Marketing and Communications

June 2, 2016
For Immediate Release

A Common Pitfall of Summer Break: Summer Learning Loss

OMAHA, NEB. – Nearly all students show a decline in test scores from the beginning of summer compared to the end of summer. On average, students lose 2.6 months of math computations skills and 1 to 2 months of reading skills.

“Students show declines in all core subjects, but learning loss is more significant in math computation and spelling,” said Amanda Setlak, Ph.D., Boys Town Psychologist. “This is likely due to the factual nature of these subjects, as factual information is more easily forgotten if not practiced regularly. Though some students suffer from summer learning loss more than others, a continued focus on education should be an integral part of summer break.”

Strategies to Stay Ahead of Summer Learning Loss

  • Get a Head Start. If your child struggled significantly over the past school year, summer is the best time to try to address these concerns. Get a jump start on learning concerns by starting a daily routine of reading, math, spelling, or other academic areas.
  • Engage. Focus on the basics of reading, math and spelling for at least 30 minutes a day; especially if your child is in elementary school. For older children, focus on the areas in which they struggled and add in daily or weekly reviews. Answer questions by working and researching together to find answers. Check community calendars, look into activities at the public library, and find grade-level workbooks and activities on the Internet.
  • Learning Programs. Learning programs may benefit your child’s specific needs. At Boys Town Learning Academy for example, the focus on remediation of learning problems through individualized interventions are developed by a staff of school psychologists.

​For more information on the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health and the Learning Academy, visit the Counseling Services tab at



Boys Town National Research Hospital is an international leader in research on childhood deafness, vision and communication disorders. For 40 years, Boys Town Hospital has been dedicated to providing leading edge clinical care, pioneering translational research and improving the lives of children and their families through applied technology and educational outreach programs.