- Thursday, 02 June 2011
- Blog Posts
Brain drain isn’t a medical condition but it afflicts all school age children every summer. Brain drain is the loss of learning in children when they don’t engage in educational activities during the summer. Recent research from Johns Hopkins University Center for Learning has reported an average of 2.6 months of learning loss in children during the summer. That is equivalent to your child reviewing approximately 2 months of materials in the Fall before they even begin learning new concepts!
So, what’s a parent to do to remedy this affliction? Before you say the “w” word (workbooks), let’s look at some other ideas that can be educational and fun; your kids won’t even know their learning.
Everything your child does is a potential learning experience, you just need to ask a question or encourage them to try something new. For instance, when you’re on a bike ride, ask them to estimate how far or how long they rode, then time it. Cook or bake with them to practice their fractions and measuring. If your children are older double or halve a recipe. Subscribe to a magazine they would enjoy. Play board and word games. Toss coins to the bottom of the pool and have them count how many or how much they retrieved. Use a map/Mapquest to plan an outing or trip. Have them schedule events for a day with a certain amount of money. Visit the library. Visit a zoo, museum, or tour a factory. Find an outdoor performance. Write or email friends and relatives about summer activities. Find a camp or learning opportunity nearby. Older kids can plan a camp for younger kids. Sleep out under the stars, or at least watch them come out. Build a water obstacle course. Plant a garden. Make cards for nursing home residents. Start and finish a puzzle. Write, direct and perform a play for the neighborhood kids. Make movies.
The list can go on and on. Your kids are learning and a workbook hasn’t even been opened! Learning happens all around us and you just have to sieze the opportunity.
And, just so you know, I’m not against workbooks and I still buy them for my kids. However, most of our summer learning is fun and through unique experiences. My kids may not enjoy everything but I can emphatically say that there is very little brain drain in our house.
Note: If you are looking for ideas to prevent brain drain in your house, visit our site and join us on our Field Trip Fridays for some virtual learning.