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Avoiding the Summer Brain Shrink

May 11, 2012
By Terry Kok

Summer is nearly here.  Whether student, parent, or teacher, all of us will be ready for a break.

However, teachers often discuss the way summer vacation can negatively affect academic performance the following school year.  Students often come back to school at a lower academic level than they finished school in June.

How can parents and the school help keep this problem to a minimum while still encouraging our students to have great vacations and the rest that they need as well?  I thought I would make a few suggestions for your children for the summer.  I invite you to comment on this blog and share your ideas to limit summer brain shrivel.

  • Encourage your student, at whatever grade level, to read.  It doesn’t mean they have to read all of the classics or something heavy; but reading books, newspapers, magazines, etc., really helps keep their minds sharp.  It will help them master the skill of reading that they need for education now and in the future.  Visit your local library and help your children feel comfortable in that setting.
  • Provide opportunities for you child to stay active.  Physical play and recreation are very important in helping your child academically.  Calvin provides a number of summer camps for junior high and high school students.  These options include both academically oriented camps like study skills and science camp, and athletically oriented opportunities.  At the elementary level children can come to Camp Calvin on a full or part-time basis.
  • Get your children outside.  Our beautiful San Diego County weather means we can be outside at just about any time of the day.  Limiting the amount of time on the computer and video games may be a wise decision.
  • Challenge your child or children to a family summer contest.  Having a series of ongoing Yahtzee, chess, checkers, or Sudoku matches can be a great way to keep the brain cells working while giving you and your children the opportunity to talk and laugh together.
  • Be a great role model.  Staying active yourself, reading, and being outside are not only good for us as adults but sets a great example for our kids.

No matter what you do with your children this summer, have a great one! 

Mark says:
May 11, 2012 02:35 PM CST
Thanks! Great suggestions!