The general consensus is that most kids lose two months of learning during the summer break. In the age where everything is given a medical label, the experts have dubbed this, Summer Brain Drain. In the title above, I added a few more adjectives to the title as it did not sound ominous enough for me.
Some school systems have countered the slow dissolution of knowledge from the frontal cortex by implementing year round school. For the rest of us, parents have two choices:
A. accept the drain and work extra hard to catch up in the next year
B. make your kids love you more by giving them summer homework
A few weeks back, I listed a few suggestions for getting your geeklets into summer programs. Here are a few additional, but relatively lower impact ideas to also help battle this debilitating prognosis.
1. A worksheet a day
Use it or lose it! Keep up a daily regimen of brain power practice with printable worksheets. There a number of sites that offer free ready-made worksheets that cover math, science, spelling, and reading comprehension. Some of my favorite online sites are The Learning Page (free) and EdHelper (free samples, yearly fee for full access). You can also pickup paper copies of workbooks in most big box and bookstores.
2. Join a summer reading club
Most libraries host a summer reading club. For every hour that your kid reads, they can receive awards or prizes. While we no longer live in Columbus, Ohio, I have to give a shout out to their library program. Each year they run their summer reading club with an elaborate theme and my kids loved it. This is a great way to challenge your kids, while keeping the joy of reading alive and well.
3. Take practice state exams
All states implement some form of standardized testing. And in most of the union, you can find practice tests with answer keys on the state’s department of education website. Download the exams for your child’s grade level and have them give it a try. This can give you a feel for where they need a little more reinforcement for the upcoming school year.
4. Write book reports and other creative writing activities
As an add-on to #2 above, have your child also write a book report on what they read. Or, use a story starter like the one at Scholastic to get those creative enzymes flowing in your child’s cranium. Search for more here.
Hopefully, these tips will help you and your child deal with RSBDS. While like most medicines, implementing these ideas will not earn you cool points with your kids. But, in the end it may help them become better students, get better grades, graduate with honors, go to college on a full-ride scholarship, graduate with honors (again), get a great job, make a lot of money, and take care of you for the rest of your life in gratitude.