Summer is upon us, and for parents, planning days without structure and a schedule isn’t always easy. The end of the school year doesn’t mean that learning and brain-building activities need to come to a halt. Research shows that kids lose approximately 22 percent of their academic skills over the summer.
Parents don’t need to resort to books and worksheets to keep children’s minds sharp either. There are many free and creative ways to help kids discover that learning is fun and can happen in any summer setting without feeling like they’re being taught a lesson. As little as a half an hour a day can help close learning gaps and strengthen academic skills without cutting into too much summer fun.
3 Ways to to Beat the Brain Drain this Summer:
- Check it out: Your local library is a wealth of FREE learning resources — books, music, workshops, movies, and many digital-learning tools. Many libraries offer summer-reading programs and incentives. Drop by and learn what they offer!
- Khan Academy: This website offers courses designed for the 5-18 set on a wide variety of topics, including STEM, arts, and test prep. Best of all? It’s free. Visit www.khanacademy.org to learn more and sign up.
- Volunteer match: This is a great opportunity for teens to give back to their community and help build those future resume. Visit www.volunteermatch.org to connect with a cause you care about in your town.
In addition to losing academic skills, some children will experience weight gain over the summer from a lack of physical activity and increased reliance on digital media. Consider putting limits on screen time and encouraging physical activity to get those muscles moving and lungs breathing in the summer air.
The Ulliance Life Advisor EAP provides clients with helpful resources on ways to enrich children's lives, referrals and even counseling (and a plethora of other topics). And as always, if you are a client of Ulliance, the Life Advisor EAP services are free and confidential.