Summer is here! However, along with warm weather, vacations, trips to the pool, and the Fourth of July comes a not-as-fun reality… the summer slide. Yes, there is actually a condition affecting school-aged children called the “summer slide,” which has nothing to do with a piece of playground equipment.
Summer can take a real toll on a student’s knowledge and skills – from mathematics to reading development.
In fact, research demonstrates that by the end of summer, students perform, on average, one month behind where they left off in the spring. Furthermore, other studies show that summer learning loss accounts for about 2/3 of the ninth-grade achievement gap in reading.
What Can You Do To Help Your Children Avoid Summer Brain Drain?
The focus is to avoid the “couch potato syndrome.” As parents, you want your kids to thrive and succeed, but the constant nagging “put down the cell phone, turn off the TV” can get really old.
Instead of nagging, here are simple and FUN ways to help your kids develop the healthy habits that support them to be better equipped to succeed academically.
Head To The Library – Your local public library likely offers a summer reading program that encourages kids, teens, and often adults to read over the summer. Educational, fun enrichment activities throughout the summer are often an important feature of the programs. Additionally, these programs typically involve incentives like prizes or tickets to sporting events.
Plant A Garden – It is the perfect time to teach kids about planning, planting, and tending a garden. Your child will learn discipline and feel pride as they watch their plants grow and thrive. Caring for a garden also teaches them about responsibility and physically working a garden is a great form of exercise! If you are short on space, try a community garden or plant some tomatoes or spinach in a container.
Keep Them Active – When your children are playing outside, riding their bikes or scooters, or are involved in an organized sport like Little League or gymnastics, they are engaging the bodies and minds. Kids who are sitting on the couch watching TV or YouTube are not. Physical activity stimulates mental activity and improves blood flow to the brain, so get your kids up and moving.
Supplement Their Success – Alarming studies show that a high percentage of children eat less than the minimum daily allowance of many essential nutrients. Additional studies indicate that modern foods don’t meet children’s needs for these nutrients. Adding an expertly designed multivitamin/mineral supplement to their diet helps to fill any nutritional gaps.
BrainMD’s Kids’ NeuroVite – science-based formulation provides generous amounts of nutrients for making energy (magnesium, the B vitamins), to support the brain’s maturation (methylfolate, methylB12, choline), for vision (lutein, zeaxanthin), and many others to generally power healthy growth of mind and body.
Cook With Them – This is one of the best ways to integrate math, reading and following directions with modeling healthy dietary choices. Let your child create the menu! Challenge your kids to your children to choose healthy foods in a variety of different colors, such as blueberries, spinach, pomegranates, yellow squash, and red bell peppers, at every meal. Help your child put together their favorite recipes in a cookbook.
Explore Together – Let your kids research local museums, zoos, botanical gardens and any other cool stuff that your community offers. They can snap photos and even make a scrapbook about their adventure. Let the kids research a special animal in the zoo. Have each child pick a different topic to share with each other. You will be helping them subtly sharpen lots of skills, such as research, reading, and organization.
Learn A New Skill – Find an age-appropriate interest for your child that he or she hasn’t tried before. It could be building a model rocket ship, learning to paint portraits, taking a pottery class, or discovering how to knit and crochet. When the brain is learning new skills, it is also staying sharp.