Avoid summer brain drain

For generations, spring fever has been both contagious and epidemic, as kids grow antsy, counting down the days until they taste freedom from homework, sit-still class time, and hovering teachers. While unstructured play time is important to creativity and overall development, in our hotly competitive and flattening world, it’s important to help kids avoid losing skills over the summer by keeping them reading, learning, and intellectually challenged.

According to the National Summer Learning Association’s review and citation of several studies, “Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.” The well-regarded Reading Is Fundamental program has published an online primer on summer learning loss and suggests that “on average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level mathematical computation skills over the summer months.”

Many educators remark on the “brain drain” or “summer slide” that results from a 3-month vacation. What about your kids? Share your thoughts, ideas and experiences with this phenomenon.