Five Tips to Beat the Summer Brain Drain

summer brain drainWhen I first went abroad to teach I was shocked to learn that the kids, all the way from first grade to eleventh, were assigned massive amounts of homework to complete over the summer. This kept their minds active, and their hands out of trouble, so that they didn’t suffer from the summer brain drain that I see many American students dealing with. While I don’t particularly agree with the amount of homework which my former students had to complete, I think the idea is a great one and wish more schools would get on board with it so that teachers didn’t have to spend the first six weeks of the school year reviewing knowledge that was lost over the three-month vacation.

Math is a must

Keep their current skills up to par, review what they’re not strong in or let them venture into higher-level problems with printable worksheets from Math Is Fun or the free video lessons on Kahn Academy.

Read daily

In addition to reading aloud to the kids each day, we all have a set amount of time for our own quiet reading. I have my kids read a mix of fiction and non-fiction on topics that they’re interested in. Fictionalized stories based on real events are more interesting and stick with the kids much longer than a dull history book.

Learn a new skill

Summer’s a great time to learn something new. Thanks to the internet, there’s so much you can learn from the comfort of home, and often for free, that there’s no reason why your child can’t learn Spanish, Chinese, how to play piano, sew or code an app.

Take field trips

It’s difficult for school’s to take hundreds of kids to science museums, cheese factories, performing arts theaters and special exhibits, so use these months to take advantage of all that your community has to offer.

Get active

Even if you’re in 100-degree heat all day, put in a dance DVD or turn on the XBox to get your kids moving. Limiting the amount of inactive screen time (watching TV or being on the computer) is essential during a time when there’s virtually no limit to how much time they could spend as a “couch potato.” Edutopia suggests that you ask your child’s current, and next school year, teachers what you can do to better help your child keep their skills sharp during the vacation. They can probably recommend specific books, websites and skills that your child can work on for 30 minutes a day.

Do you have “summer school” for your kids? Tell us what your family does. how to pick outfits for family photos, family portrait outfit ideas

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