Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
|

Stop the Summer Brain Drain!

Kids Lose One to Three Months of Learning

Did your child's brain shrink last summer? Probably not, but it may have shifted into reverse, according to a study by Dr. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The study found that when students return to school after a long summer vacation, they've lost one to three months worth of learning.

Kids Lose Most in Math

The decline is more detrimental for math than it is for reading. "All students lose math skills," says Cooper. It may be because community and home environments give kids more opportunities to practice reading than math. The study also found that income has an impact on how much a student loses or gains in reading. Middle-class children actually gained in reading over the summer, while lower-income students experienced losses. Cooper attributes this to the enrichment activities that many middle-class kids participate in over the summer, such as camp and trips.

What You Can Do

Your kids don't have to spend the summer stuck in reverse. "Parents can help their kids retain educational skills," says Cooper. He suggests the following five tips to kick off a learning-filled summer.

1. Keep lots of books around and make regular trips to the library. Most libraries schedule special summer events for kids. Sign up your family!

2. Think about what your kids may be learning next year when you plan the family vacation. Talk with teachers to find out what they'll be covering in class. If it's a unit on the civil war for example, you may want to schedule a visit to Gettysburg. If it's geology, visit a national park.

3. Keep math in mind. Since kids lose more math skills than anything else over the summer, try to do some special planning to find math-related activities. For example, if you can't decide whether to sign your child up for "Shakespeare's Theater" or "Math Magic" at the local community center, go with the math.

4. Consider summer school or tutoring. Struggling kids can get a lot of different kinds of help from these programs. Summer school can also enrich and accelerate learning in areas where kids show a special interest.

5. Call the curriculum coordinator in your child's school district, visit the school board office, or contact the schools of education at local colleges and universities to find out what educational programs will be offered in your area over the summer.

Remember to keep it fun! You don't want to sour your kids on learning during the summer break.

More on: Summer Learning

|


August 27, 2014



Don't be afraid of fats! Healthy fats, like those found in nuts, avocado, or cheese, make great lunch additions or snacks, and will help keep your child full until the end of the school day.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!