It's a common problem among students: summer brain drain. Studies show that most students lose at least some knowledge that they gained during the school year over the course of summer vacation. But a little effort can go a long way when it comes to helping children avoid significant regression during the summer months.
It doesn't take eight hours a day of studying for your child to stay fresh. Try projects and activities that make learning fun. Here are a few ideas:
Look for educational summer camps or programs. Check with your child's school for educational summer camp ideas. Perhaps your budding scientist will enjoy your local nature and science museum's summer series for youth. If your child enjoys reading, check out writing programs for children and teens at your local library. If your town has a university or college, investigate programs there, too!
Make library visit a weekly excursion. Whether your child is 7 or 17, the library should be your home away from home during the summer months. Most libraries (including Baltimore County) host a variety of programs and classes for children and teens -- from history classes to science programs to book clubs for all different genres. For younger children, be sure to ask your librarian about fun classes, clubs, crafts and more!
Request reading lists and activity sheets from your child's teacher. Your child's teacher can offer ideas to develop a realistic academic plan for summer. Ask for book recommendations based on your child's reading level and request activities your child can do with you, or independently, that will reinforce concepts learned this past year. Many of these recommendations are also available on your school's website.
Make reading a daily occurrence. Reading can be one of the most drastic regression areas, so develop a nightly reading routine for the whole household. Turn off the television and cell phones and have everyone in the family pull out their books or magazines for 30 minutes or longer. If your child needs help, read together. Keep it fun -- let your child choose the reading material when you go to the library.
Summer is a great time for children to follow their interests and review what they learned last school year -- and they can do so at a more relaxed pace. A summer learning routine doesn't have to be rigorous, and it takes just a little creativity to come up with great anti-regression activities. Get your child involved in the process, and remind your child that a little work this summer will have a great impact when he or she goes back to school in the fall.
To learn more about Huntington's Summer Reading, Math and Exam Prep programs, contact Derek Johnson at (410) 788-0028.