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Avoiding the Summer Brain Drain

Jun 22, 2016
Melissa Hincha-Ownby

A child reading 

Summer is upon us and that means our children will have a couple of months away from school. While this sounds great from a responsibility perspective, that much time away from academics can lead to something called summer brain drain. Studies have shown that children’s knowledge levels regresses over the summer break, but the good news is there are several steps you can take as a parent to reduce or avoid the summer brain drain.

In my opinion, the easiest way to avoid the summer brain drain is to encourage your children to read. Whether that is one long book or many shorter books, it doesn’t matter. Reading keeps the brain active and that’s the goal.

Fun Math Lessons
Growing up as the daughter of a math teacher taught me one thing, math can be fun. It was never fun when I was a student, but there are so many ways that parents can incorporate math into the summer break. Have your children join you when cooking or baking, as measuring out ingredients is a great lesson in fractions and ratios. If you’re going on a road trip, have your children calculate total distance, time traveled, etc. Get creative and incorporate math into your daily lives this summer.

Social Studies
If you’re planning a summer vacation, incorporate social studies into the pre-vacation planning and help your kids learn about your destination. Research the history, demographics, notable sites and more. This serves two purposes: it helps your children get more excited about the vacation while helping avoid brain drain.

Fun Websites
Don’t forget about simple learning opportunities that are at your fingertips…literally. Connect your children with one of the many free online coding sites and help them pick up a new skill set over the summer.

How do you help your children avoid the summer brain drain?

Photo courtesy of Melissa Hincha-Ownby.

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