All that hard work down the drain. Well, not ALL of it – but A LOT.
During the summer, kids lose an average 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency in math computation skills and 25 percent of their reading skills. That explains why teachers usually spend four to six weeks re-teaching materials in the fall. So what’s a parent to do? Fight back against the summer slide with these tips.
- Make a rainy day toy box so kids don’t end up watching TV all day. It can consist of age-appropriate puzzles, Playdoh, circle-the-word booklets, art supplies, craft ideas, board games, playing cards, etc.
- Bookmark or print out brainteasers from sites like the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Sites like Funbrain offer entertaining material on spelling, reading, math and grammar, and Games For the Brain has classic strategy games.
- Buy or create a book of games you can play in the car. Even a simple game like “20 Questions” can help improve a child’s logic and reasoning and memory.
- Limit television, computer and video game time. Invite your child’s friends over frequently to encourage creative play and interaction.
- Have your child create a reward system for the number and level of books he/she reads over the summer.
- Take your children to summer library and bookstore programs. Most will post them online but you can also request a calendar of events.
- Consider registering your child for summer camps that encourage kids to use their minds on science projects, exploration, creative writing, music and art.
- Use the summer to strengthen your student’s cognitive skills through one-on-one brain training to improve memory, visual and auditory processing, attention, and logic and reasoning. A core of strong brain skills will help them head back to school with the tools to succeed at learning in any subject. Unlike tutoring, which focuses on academics, brain training addresses the root causes of any learning struggles.
- Encourage your child to learn an instrument or another language. Studies have shown a strong correlation between “Arts” and “smarts.”
- Learn how to choose age-appropriate books for children and teens. Reading is Fundamental has a great brochure that offers basic tips on what to look for. Your local librarian can also help you select books for your child’s interest and reading level. According to Scholastic Parents Online, reading just six books during the summer break can be enough to keep a struggling reader from falling behind.
Research shows that ALL young people experience learning losses when they don’t engage in educational activities during the summer.
And don’t assume that your kids will roll their eyes when you suggest ideas to keep their brain skills strong all summer. More than half of students surveyed say they want to be involved in a summer program that helps them keep up with schoolwork or prepare them for the next grade. Besides, unlike abdominal crunches, exercise for your brain is actually FUN!