The summer brain drain: it happens to every kid over summer vacation. Basically, over the extended break, kids tend to forget some of what they learned in the last school year – which leaves them a bit behind when the new school year starts. Why? Mostly because they aren’t being drilled in the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic every day.
According to researchers at Duke University, test scores were, on average, at least one month lower when students returned to school in the fall than when they left in the spring. In other words, a student who may have finished third grade at a 3.9 level – which means 3rd grade, ninth month - returned to school in the fall, on average, at a 3.8 level. The summer brain drain is worst when it comes to math. Kids, on average, return to school two months behind in math. So, here’s how to stop the summer brain drain. We got these tips from CNN’s Education Channel:
- First, add math to your daily routine: Have your kids figure out the tip at a restaurant. Get them to chart the temperature highs and lows over the summer. Or give them a map and let them figure out the distance on your road trip.
- You can even give your kid a certain amount to spend on the stock market – with your help – and have them chart the stock’s progress. Have them choose something they’re interested in – like Disney stock, or McDonald’s. If you let them keep any interest earned, it’s a great motivator.
- Next, keep your kid’s brain engaged by taking educational trips to the zoo, museums, and local historical landmarks. Get some books, have them read up on the subject, and after you go, discuss what you both learned.
- One final stop-the-brain-drain idea: Have them teach you something. Whether it’s a computer application or something they know about bugs, teaching others helps them develop a deeper understanding and retain more facts.