Every year, students experience a phenomenon known as the “brain drain” or “Summer slide”. During summer vacation, the average child loses 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in math and reading. Because children’s brains develop at such a rapid pace, taking 3 months off from learning over the summer can be quite detrimental.
The first thing we can do to stop this brain drain is to teach and show children that learning does not just occur in a classroom. There are things to be learned everywhere if we can just help them to see the opportunities. Of course most children enjoy a break during the summer, but they don’t need a break from learning. An ideal summer will blend rest and relaxation with fun, hands-on learning.
We have compiled a few ideas of how to keep children having fun and learning throughout the summer.
- Cook together—cooking provides opportunities for learning about sequencing, cause and effect, fractions, and calculations like how to double a recipe.
- Keep a lot of reading material around—books, magazines, comic books—and read to and with the children.
- Check out your library’s summer reading program.
- Before heading to the beach or a baseball game, pick out a book that discusses the activity.
- Make a comic strip—it’s really easy to make a template on Excel.
- Write postcards to friends, family, or pen pals.
- Go on a tour—there are many free ones around—jellybean or chocolate factories, sporting venues, police and fire departments, etc.
- Plant a garden.
- Learn a new art technique or style.
Have a great summer!