Just because school is out doesn’t mean your family has to stop learning. As a matter of fact if you don’t plan creative ways to keep your child’s brain active over the summer months they can lose a month of academic achievement That means that they retain 8 months of information from a typical 9 month school year. For math and spelling, they may lose 2.6 months. Students retain only about 2/3 of the information they learned in these subjects
Summer is a wonderful time to allow your children to learn in a new way. Introduce them to subjects they don’t get in school. Let them get a hands on, get messy, educational experience. It’s also a time for them to get lost in a book and dream.
Here are some ideas to help your family have fun and put the plug in summer brain drain.
Participate in a summer reading program – This can be at your local library or at one of the nearby bookstores. Borders is holding its Summer Reading “Double Dog Dare.” Barnes & Noble is having their ‘The 39 Clues’ interactive game. TD Banks is also holding a summer reading program. Reading Rockets offers more creative ideas for getting kids to read.
Start a neighborhood reading challenge – If there isn’t a reading program near you why not start your own? It’s always more fun to do something with friends.
Start a nature journal – Use your child’s curiosity and encourage them to start a nature journal. They can draw pictures of plants and creatures they find on walks and research them.
Map out the family vacation – If you are heading out for a summer break why not have your child map out your destination and keep a travel log? They can work on a budget for the trip. These activities use math, writing and geography skills.
Grow a garden and preserve the harvest – This is a great summer hands on learning experience. It’s still not to late to get those tomatoes in. Your child can track the progress of the plants, help cook and can the harvest. They will be practicing following directions, using science and math and have something tangible to show for it.
Learn a new sport or at least keep active – Winter keeps kids indoors for the most part. Summer is a great time for them to run around and use their bodies. Get together with some other families and have a weekly volleyball game, go swimming, hiking and improve the entire family’s coordination and get healthy together.
These are just a few ideas to help your child avoid the summer slide inexpensively. You can also look into summer camps and classes.