Call it the summer slide, the seasonal slump, the brain drain or the summer slowdown. Just don’t call it new: The two-month period when students lose some of their academic edge has been observed for over a century. The good news here is that experts and parents have come up with a number of ways to keep kids sharp through the summer, and we’re sharing some of them with you here.
Learn something new
“We would all expect an athlete’s or a musician’s performance to suffer if they took a long break from practice, and the same is true for our nation’s young people,” says Ron Fairchild, founder of the Smarter Learning Group.
One way to keep your student’s brain in shape is to keep the learning going. It doesn’t have to be out of a textbook. Swimming or SCUBA or horseback riding lessons, practicing a language while driving to your vacation destination – it all counts.
In a summer camp – particularly an outdoor one – kids take part in activities they might not otherwise do. Some learn how to build a fire; some learn to paddle a canoe; some team up to complete a rope course. (And even if students learn they can’t actually trust others in a “trust fall,” they’ve still learned something, right?)