Have you ever heard the term brain drain and wondered What Does Brain Drain Mean? Brain drain–especially summer brain drain- refers to learning loss that children experience after time spent away from learning, particularly over summer break. The good news is you can help your child reduce summertime learning loss without sacrificing your child’s fun and excitement this summer by implementing these easy tips for avoiding summer learning loss.
What Does Brain Drain Mean: Tips for Avoiding Summer Learning Loss
Encourage your child to read every day. Make reading fun by finding exciting adventures, twisting tales, and even graphic novels to help your child enjoy reading. Look for fun summer reading programs in your local area or create your own reading reward system to encourage your child to read more. Check out my post on Teaching Kids to Learn to Read for some inspiration.
Turn screen time into learning time. There are some really great STEM apps available to allow your child to learn and have fun at the same time. Some of our favorite online games are Starfall and ABC Mouse.com for younger kids and Stack the States and KHAN Academy for older kids.
Plan regular family game nights to encourage your children to use thinking skills. Games like Scrabble and Boggle are great for getting your child to practice spelling skills while you get to enjoy some quality family time. Rotating the games to challenge your children in different ways each game night is a great way to keep their young minds going strong.
Bring the kids into the kitchen and have them help you cook family meals. This is a great way to keep your child’s mind sharp. Cooking is a great way to practice measurement and fractions. Have your child help plan and shop for meals to add in money skills practice. As a bonus your child is learning skills they will need later in life. I love how my friend Natalie teaches her kids how to budget AND prepare healthy foods in this post.
Take time to go on educational field trips with your children. Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of fun stuff locally that your child can get up close and personal with science and history. Head to your local you-pick farm to learn how food gets from the farm to your table. If you can travel outside of your local area then make sure to check out any National Parks or Historical attractions in your area, they are a great way to learn about history and science.
Use games to make learning fun. Offering fun games, activity books and flashcards to fill time on rainy days is a great way to keep your child’s book work skills going strong through the summer. Letting your child pick out these materials is a great way to make sure it is one that will hold your child’s interest. My younger kids love to get these fun Summer Bridging workbooks and they do a few pages each day.
Encourage your child to take a hand at writing. Essay and creative writing skills are easily forgotten. Giving your child a journal and a prompt each day is a great way to encourage them to keep up with writing skills. Mix things up often between book reports, creative stories about their day and traditional journaling to make writing fun and exciting. Giving them art supplies to spice it up will keep them coming back for more.
As you can see the key to reducing summertime learning loss is to keep the focus on making learning fun!