What is holiday learning loss?

2 min read

It’s a fact: we all look forward to the school holidays. They’re a great time to relax, recuperate, and perhaps most importantly, spend time with family! But as we put our feet up and take a breather, the holidays can also be a fantastic opportunity for your child to keep on top of what they’ve been learning at school.

What is holiday learning loss?

Holiday learning loss is the decline of knowledge that can occur when a child is away from school for a period of time, such as during the summer or half term. Most of us have probably experienced this phenomenon. There’s nothing quite like heading back to school after a long break and feeling very groggy about what was taught before the holiday (“Did I really learn how to simplify fractions?”).

There’s a lot of research behind learning loss. A study by Cooper and Nye found that, on average, children scored one tenth of a standard deviation lower after the summer holiday compared to their score before the holiday. This is the equivalent to one month of instruction!

Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers concurred, concluding that children who kept their brains active over the holidays – by attending summer camp, for example – suffered less holiday slippage than those who did not.

How can children overcome it?

Don’t worry, children don’t need to buckle down and do lots of revision to overcome holiday learning loss! Just ten minutes of daily practice can really help. DoodleMaths and DoodleEnglish are proven to prevent holiday slippage.

The University of Bath found that children who used DoodleMaths were four times less likely to suffer from holiday learning loss. By doing 20 minutes of DoodleMaths a week, children who used the app scored an average of 9.4% more in mathematical tests when returning to school than those who didn’t.

With this in mind, there’s never been a better time to incorporate Doodle into your daily routine. Little and often really does get results! But remember – the holidays are all about relaxing too!   

Article by Lucy Hart

Doodle empowers learners to achieve confidence in maths and English. Our intelligent technology creates individual work programmes which are motivational, affordable and convenient to use.