Home and Family     Camps     Camp Guide    

Tips for Hudson Valley Parents to prevent summer brain drain

Learn how to keep your kid sharp for this coming school year

Looking for tips to keep your kids from brain drain this summer?

 Throughout the Hudson Valley, our kids sometimes become afflicted with “summer learning loss.”  Did you know that the brain is just like a muscle and, like any muscle, needs to be worked out and stretched, or else it weakens? We’re not saying you should make your kids do schoolwork and study all summer (kids do need their down times) but Ben Shifrin, executive board member of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and head of the Jemicy School in Owings Mills, MD developed these 6 tips to prevent summer learning loss. They’re not only fun and quick to do, but will keep your kid sharp and ready for the upcoming school year.  It’s also a worthwhile activity you can use to “bond” with your kids over the summer.

READ MORE: Join a reading program at your local library

The tips are as follows:

  • Ask your children to calculate tips when you go out to dinner. This teaches them to perform multiplication and percentages quickly, making back to school a snap.
  • Ask your children to figure out the gas mileage while on family trips. Take the amount of gallons your car’s tank holds, and then set your trip odometer so they can know how far you have gone. After some easy calculations, and cobweb removal from your kids head, you have your gas mileage.
  • Have your children watch TV with the volume off and closed-captioning on, so they’re forced to read the words. It would be even better if you could get your kid to pick up a book and read, but at times they want to watch TV this is a good solution.
  • Have your children read the newspaper or a magazine. This not only gets them reading but it teaches them about current events and gets them thinking about the world outside of themselves and their family.
  • Have your children check out license plates on car trips and keep a running list of all the states they see. This keeps them busy, teaches them to be attentive, and you could even give them a map where they mark every state they have seen a plate from. That would help to improve their knowledge of geography.
  • Play a board game. Board games can help children learn to be organized, to plan, to be persistent, and to think strategically. Children can also develop problem solving abilities and memory skills. Games that use money can teach essential mathematical skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even concepts like estimation.

READ MORE: Low cost cures for the summertime boredom blues

So this summer as your kids enjoy endless fun, keep these 6 tips in mind. They might even thank you when they return to school sharp and top of their class, while the other kids are still recovering from their summer brain drain.