For students of all ages, summer break can’t get here fast enough! While kids may be ready for a vacation—a change of pace—the opposite is true for their brains. The brain never gets tired of doing the one thing that it was designed to do: learn. So, what happens in the summer when kids are not in school, and not providing their brains with the active intake of information that it needs to stay sharp? Well, like any muscle, it weakens, and it begins to forget. What are the tips for students to keep them mentally engaged during summer break?
When students are not actively engaging their brains, neurological connections can begin to deteriorate, making it increasingly difficult to recall the information that was learned throughout the school year.
“Ask your kid today how to convert a fraction into a percent and he’ll tell you to divide the top number by the bottom and multiply by 100. But ask him again in July or at the end of August and you’ll likely get a blank stare”.
Research shows that students can lose up to 30 percent of their academic skills over the summer break. This means that in the fall, students are actually further behind than when they left school at the beginning of summer.
Maintaining academic momentum over the summer prevents this backward learning slide, helps students remember the material they spent the school year learning and keeps their brains in active learning mode so that they are ready to learn from the first day of school.
So, what happens in the summer when kids are not in school. Will your kid’s brain be working by the end of summer? A few hours a week of academic work maintains important school skills. We recommend these tips for students to keep them mentally engaged over the summer.
READ! Encourage kids to keep reading every day this summer break. Frequent reading improves comprehension skills and develops vocabulary. Give that library card a workout!
WRITE! Give children a journal or scrapbook and encourage them to write every day. Stumped about what to write? Keep lists of new words, start a short story, or just summarize the day.
TALK! Make discussing your day part of your family’s regular routine. Chat about what you did, saw, or wondered about. This builds memory skills and keeps the mind active and engaged.
PLAY! Games such as Sudoku, crossword puzzles, board games, or any game with strategy and planning keep the cognitive wheels working. Discuss strategy, alternative moves, and different outcomes.
THINK! Keep the mind active by asking questions about anything and everything! Parents can model questions for kids. Don’t worry if there aren’t answers. An alert mind is always questioning and thinking.
JOIN! Enroll your child in a class. GradePower Learning has flexible schedules and plenty of options mean that there’s a great way to keep learning this summer for everyone!
Established in 1984, Oxford Learning/GradePower Learning has grown to include more than 100 locations across Canada and the United States. Oxford Learning/GradePower Learning goes beyond tutoring to help students reach their learning potential, not just for one grade or one year but for a lifetime. The unique programs teach children to learn how to learn.
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