Photo by Cafe Sheri
Research shows that teachers typically spend between four to six weeks re-educating students on material they have forgotten over the summer.
So how can parents prevent the dreaded summer brain drain when pool parties, play dates, and boogie boarding are all kids are thinking about?
Duane Sider, an education expert at Rosetta Stone, offers fun tips on how to keep kids minds active during the lazy days of summer break.
5 Fun Ways Kids Can Avoid Summer Brain Drain
- Get Lost at the Library – Research has show that reading four or five books over the summer had an impact on fall reading achievement comparable to attending summer school. Stop by reading hour, sign up for a children's summer book club, or just grab a few books off the shelf to read at home. Added bonus? An air-conditioned place to keep kids entertained.
- Turn Your Home into an International Destination – Immerse your family in a new culture via the web. Research your family's heritage or a favorite foreign city and immerse kids fully in the adventure by helping them learn the local dialect. Parents and children can learn a language together easily using computer-based language-learning programs.
- Create Your Own Cooking "Class" – How many pints in a quart? Cinnamon is which country's major export? From measuring spoons to ingredients, preparing meals is the perfect to time to ask math, geography, and even science questions. Getting kids involved in measuring the ingredients and cooking will help them better understand the math and science that goes into their favorite cookies
- Transform Your Backyard into a Science Lab – Bugs, animals and trees… Oh my! Your backyard is filled with a plethora of scientific wonders that will keep kids busy for hours. Challenge your children to identify and photograph as many species as they can.
- Discover the Possibilities in Your Community – Local zoos, museums, and parks provide an economical destination for learning. Take a daycation to the historical landmarks in your city. Plan a group trip with friends and classmates to learn about foreign cultures, history, and animals big and small.
- Plan an Educational Summer Vacation – In addition to building sandcastles and boogie boarding for days on end, plan a family vacation to an educational or historic site. Explore the Grand Canyon, climb to the top of the Washington Monument, experience the Wright Brothers’ first flight in Kitty Hawk, NC, or even venture to another country to experience a different culture and language.
- Get Up and Exercise Your Body and Mind – Getting the blood flowing always helps cognitive thinking. Therefore, encourage games outdoors that require counting, group collaboration, and problem solving. Make sure to have plenty of water and sunscreen on hand.
- Engage Their Investigative Aptitude – Arm your kids with a notebook, pencil, camera, and their inquisitive mind. Have them interview neighbors and do research on your home town. This allows kids to sharpen their thought and question process.
- Break out the Board Games – Whether it’s Chutes & Ladders, Monopoly, Scrabble, or even Blackjack, it turns out these favorite family board games can also be great tools to reinforce a variety of classroom concepts. Combining education and fun will help create a positive learning experience for everyone and remove some of the stress of day to day living.
- Logging Your Adventures – Through all these adventures and findings have your child keep a diary or notebook of their summer, or if you’re tech savvy, start a family blog so relatives can read about your child’s experiences. Give them an assignment every week. Write a letter to a relative, a poem, a creative short story or what their favorite exploration was that week.
About Duane Sider Duane Sider
Duane Sider, director of communications for Rosetta Stone, is passionate about changing the way the world views language-learning. Duane has authored a number of articles and theory papers on immersion methodology in second-language acquisition. In addition, Duane has written two plays and a collection of poetry and manages a theater company in Virginia.