Kate’s Corner
Jul 07 2015

  “Summer Brain Drain”

There is a common comment in the education world and an apparent response to summer when it comes to children’s retention of skills learned through school days or, for younger children, during what is considered a more formal program year; September to June.  This comment is fairly new and a direct result of the significant increase in formal screening and assessment of skills.  Children are “looked at” when summer begins and then again when summer ends and fall begins.  There can be a change in what is seen.  At times (not always!) there is what is considered a loss of learning.

This learning loss or “brain drain” is more likely to happen with math skills and problem solving rather than in any other area.  In addition to math skills, the second most common area of loss is in spelling.

Dr. Harris Cooper of the University of Missouri-Columbia reports that to keep kids sharp there are 4 common sense steps that families and programs can build into summer days.

  1. 1. Encourage children to read. Take children to the local library – many of which have summer reading programs and let kids pick out books to read over the summer. Take every opportunity to read with children every day, read labels, make cards, play word games, and make up stories and rhymes.   At EduKids there are extensive reading activities, story times, literacy boosters and opportunities for children of all ages to be readers and story tellers.  Literacy is literally at the base of all plans and activities in our infant rooms through school age camps.  We help you grow readers and writers!
  2. Go on educational trips. Even if you’re not going to historical sites, you can make your summer trips educational. A trip to the zoo has learning potential; plan ahead to figure out how to bring some learning in along with the snacks and attractions!    At EduKids our babies take strolls in the sunshine and hear wonderful songs and stories about little birds and flowers, our toddlers dig in dirt and look for worms and bugs while taking care of their gardens, our 3 year olds determine what will sink and float in their water tables, the preschoolers draw treasure maps to follow over obstacle courses on the playground and summer campers explore every week!  Trips to Museums, Parks, The Zoo and The Fair are just some of the educational trips that fill minds up with information, facts, knowledge and ideas.  We fill brains over the summer at every age!
  3. Consider summer camp. Summer camps not only provide socialization opportunities for kids, they also give kids the chance to keep their minds running and be engaged in everyday problem-solving. That is the perfect description of the EduKids’ Summer Camps!  Figuring out timing & schedules, construction sites, spacial considerations, sequencing, plans & puzzles and all of the other how tos that are part of a busy, interesting and fun day is the order of summer camp!  Our campers are pretty sharp!
  4. Dr. Cooper also suggests academic summer school for older children who need remedial help to stay current and prepare for the next grade at school.

It’s easy to think that children running and playing or just relaxing are not “doing anything.”  Bodies may be running or calm but all the while those brains are moving!  Have you ever noticed a child at any age just look into the world and smile?  Hmm…what is that wonderful brain thinking of now?

We are busy in the summer at EduKids!  In summer your children are at their finest on these beautiful sunny days.  We take care of their bodies and their brains!