17 Ways to Keep Brain Drain at Bay This Summer

Let today be the day you kickstart your child’s summer learning.

School may be out for the summer, but your brain is always on duty. In fact, you may be at risk of “brain drain” if you don’t keep it active.

What Is “Brain Drain”?

Brain drain is a term for when you return to school in the fall having forgotten everything. In fact, The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) says that most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.

Low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement. And research spanning over 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer. If you’re a low-income student, it’s even more essential to take advantage of the summer months.

National Summer Learning Day Is a Solution to Brain Drain

In fact, on June 20, First Lady Michelle Obama — as part of her Reach Higher Initiative — is joining NSLA to tour student demonstrations and deliver remarks at the National Summer Learning Day Fair.

This event brings together high school students and education leaders from across the country to highlight how important summer learning is when it comes to preparing for college. Hundreds of cities and programs around the country are hosting local events to build awareness around the need for and benefits of high-quality summer learning programs. Is there one near you?

17 Tips to Keep Your Brain Active

Keeping your brain active doesn’t necessarily mean focusing on academics. The key is to avoid a completely sedentary summer:

  1. Read every day

  2. Go to the library and participate in library/reading programs

  3. Visit museums and cultural centers

  4. Ask your teacher what you’ll be learning in the next grade, and ask for ideas on how you can build on those skills over the summer

  5. Set aside one day a week to keep Math and Science skills fresh by doing practice problems

  6. Get a part or full-time job

  7. Volunteer or intern

  8. Plan a family vacation (logistics, finances, the whole bit)

  9. Be active outdoors

  10. Keep a journal

  11. Participate in a book club

  12. Sign up for summer camp/programs

  13. Get a head start on the college application process: visit colleges and start organizing what you need for the applications

  14. Challenge yourself by working on a summer project

  15. Explore careers, skills, and interests

  16. Attend summer school to brush up on skills

  17. Travel

Sources:

Know The Facts - National Summer Learning Association. (n.d.). Know The Facts - National Summer Learning Association. Retrieved June 20, 2014, from NSLA

Pitcock, S. (n.d.). How to Keep Your Teens Learning This Summer. ED.gov. Retrieved June 20, 2014, from HomeRoom

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