Stop Brain Drain Before it Starts
June 13, 2018 · Posted in Parenting · Permalink

by A.S. Braverman

The end of the school year is in sight and summer is right around the corner. Kids and parents alike are excited for the chance to slow down and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the school year, not to mention things like sleepaway camp, pool parties, and ice cream in the shade. But there’s a flip side to summer vacation—brain drain. Kids lose months’ worth of academic skills, including reading, writing, math, and executive functioning skills, and this puts them at a real disadvantage when they go back to school in the fall. To prevent this learning loss, try some of the following activities:

 

  • Go to a museum – When the day is just too hot to do much outside, visit a museum (especially a natural history museum). Kids will love the displays and interactive exhibits. This is a great way for them to get some science review (or history, or art), and for the family to spend time together. Plus: the air conditioning will feel great.

 

  • Send postcards — Make a summer-long game out of collecting the best postcards of the sights and landmarks in your town. Take some time every week to fill them out and send them to faraway friends or relatives. It will be excellent writing and geography practice.

 

  • Have a spelling bee – If you’re worried about your learners’ spelling skills, hold a spelling bee with a summery twist. Set up a bucket of water balloons that the “audience” (parents, neighbors, school friends) can throw at anybody who misspells their word.

 

  • Plan an excursion – Get your kids to practice using their planning and time management skills by having them plan out a day trip for you to take together. Make it fun and keep it organized by mapping out the day’s events using color coded markers, stickers, and other craft supplies.

 

  • Read together — Sometimes even the summer months can get hectic. When you have some down time, it’s nice to sit with your kids and read out loud. Choose a book that piques their interest, and alternate listening and reading, making sure the kids get a chance to do both, too. This will help them keep up their spelling skills, and can even be used as a gentle way to develop public speaking skills.

 

 

 

Author Bio: A.S. Braverman is an Academic Liaison at Thinking Caps Group and a recent graduate of Columbia University. Thinking Caps has published many books, including SAT Demystified (McGraw-Hill, 2012) and ACT Demystified (McGraw-Hill, 2013). The company has been featured in The New York Times, Parenting, and The Huffington Post.

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