In the heat of the summer, it can be difficult to motivate youngsters to leave the air conditioned bubble in the living room and even harder to encourage them to take part in activities where they can stimulate their minds. Studies have shown that students can lose up to one month of skills and knowledge learned during the school year over the summer. Here are a few more tips on how to stop the dreaded summer brain drain:
• Pennsylvania is home to many beautiful national parks, and no matter where you live one may be within just a few hour drive– plan a simple day trip and enjoy hiking, camping or kayaking! If outdoor activities aren’t your style, head towards Pittsburgh or Philadelphia and visit some of the incredible museums those cities have to offer. Already have a pre-planned vacation out of state? Have students write an old fashioned post card home to friends or family strengthening handwriting, sentence structure and storytelling skills.
• Is your child a future mad scientist? Summer is a great time for outdoor STEM-based projects that are both fun and include a learning component. Take the egg drop challenge and find out what happens when you drop an egg from different heights. It cracks and creates a giant mess, right? Challenge your child to engineer a vessel that will protect the egg and keep it from breaking when dropped made from the listed materials below, then venture outside and safely release your egg from a window or deck. You can find the following items around the house or get creative and choose your own!
o Cardboard paper towel or toilet tubes
o old cardboard boxes
o computer or notebook paper
o popsicle sticks
o plastic storage baggies
o tape, glue, rubber bands
• During the dog days of summer, sometimes you just need to relax at the movies – but who says that can’t be educational? In “Finding Dory” the fish are headed to Monterey, CA and “The Secret Life of Pets” takes place in Manhattan. After you’ve seen both smash hits, can students locate these two places on a map? How long would it take for you to travel from one to the other – by car, train or airplane? Calculate how much a cross-country trip would cost.
Do you have more tips and tricks to help students avoid learning loss this summer? Share in the comments below how you put a stop to the summer brain drain!