New Survey Shows Tweens May Be At Risk Of Summer Learning Loss

by Sylvan Learning | May 14, 2014

Sylvan Offers Summer Reading List & Tips to Help Combat Summer Learning Loss

BALTIMORE, MD — Are kids really at risk of summer learning loss? A new survey [i] from Sylvan Learning finds that while 51 percent of parents with tweens in grades four through eight claim to be concerned about summer learning loss, their children rarely engage in educational activities over the summer. On average, kids spend significantly more of their free time playing outside (30%), playing video games (17%) and watching TV (18%) than reading (12%), arts & crafts (7%) and academic enrichment programs (7%).

Summer reading is one way parents can combat summer learning loss. Research has shown that kids should read at least five books over the summer, yet 46 percent of tweens are reading four or fewer books according to their parents.

“Everyone agrees that kids deserve a break after working hard all school year,” said Julia Fitzgerald, Chief Marketing Officer at Sylvan Learning. “However, summer learning loss can set our children back several months, making for a rocky transition back into the classroom come fall. We want to provide parents with fun ways they can insert learning into their child’s everyday life to help fight the summer slide.”

Sylvan Learning offers the following advice to help parents get their kids excited about reading this summer.

  • Let Kids Choose:

    Instead of requiring kids to read the classics over the summer, let them choose a book they are interested in reading. According to parents surveyed, 65 percent said that letting the child choose the book helps get him or her interested in reading it. 
  • Rewards Can Work:

    So many of today’s popular tween books are also movies, and a trip to the movies can be a great reward for finishing a book. Forty percent of parents said watching the movie after the book helps get their kids excited about reading.
  • Find out what their friends are reading:

    Forty-six percent of parents said their child gets interested in reading a book because their friends are reading it. According to parents, the most popular genres among tweens are:

Humor (e.g. Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

Fantasy (e.g. Harry Potter series, Percy Jackson series)

Action Adventure (e.g. Holes, Hatchet)

Science Fiction (e.g. A Wrinkle in Time, 1984)

Books Made Into Movies (e.g. Divergent series, The Giver)

To help give parents a list of books they can suggest to their kids this summer, Sylvan Learning has compiled a summer reading list for kids in grades four through eight, based on the most popular books on its Book Adventure website. Parents can access the complete list of recommended titles on

For more information on Sylvan Learning or to find a center, visit

About Sylvan Learning, Inc.

With more than 30 years of experience and more than 800 locations throughout North America, Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of personal learning for students in grades K–12. As the leader in supplemental education, Sylvan is transforming how students learn, inspiring them to succeed in school and in life. Sylvan’s proven tutoring approach blends amazing teachers with SylvanSync™ technology on the iPad® for an engaging learning experience. Sylvan programs include study skills, math, reading, writing and test prep for college entrance and state exams. Sylvan also provides educational services to public and nonpublic schools. The company was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, call 1-800-31-SUCCESS or visit or Sylvan’s Mom Minded blog at

SylvanSync is a trademark of Sylvan Learning 
iPad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

[i] From April 22nd to April 30th, 2014 an online survey was conducted among 500 American parents with children in grades four through eight who are also Vision Critical American Community panel members. The margin of error —which measures sampling variability— is +/- 4.4%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.