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Avoiding the Brain Drain Days of Summer
"No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers ..." well, you remember the limerick. Yes, the days of summer break and "school's out!" are upon us. The routines of early mornings, homework, tests and lunchroom antics turn to the lazy hazy days of summer. These are days we all - students, teachers and parents alike - look forward to and need to recharge and reflect. But there there is a dark side to summer break fondly known as "summer brain drain" or "summer learning loss".
Studies show that the average student can lose as much as one to three months of learning over the summer. And struggling students can lose up to five months of learning! A difficult set back to say the least, making re-entry in to school in the fall difficult for everyone involved.
There are steps we can take to help our students stay on track and NOT suffer the consequences of summer loss. The single best way to avoid brain drain? Keep our kids reading all summer long. And the best way for students to stay involved, is for the influential adults in their life to engage and help that happen.
I dug around a bit and found just a few resources for students, teachers and parents. They are listed below.
What can you share with the community around this issue? Resource ideas? Experiences? Questions? Strategies?
- The National Summer Learning Association has a facebook site focused on national summer learning.
- Education camps and resources for learning also provided by the National Summer Learning Association.
- Apple in Education - a series of products and apps for teachers and students to keep education engaging.
- Family education offers ideas to make sure that your chid is prepared for the new school year with packets of fun activities and skill-builders. Each activity has been selected to draw on prior knowledge and is a sneak peek of what he or she will learn in the next grade, as well as activites listed by subject and grade.
- Carson Dellosa Publishing provides some resources for keeping kids active and engaged all summer long.
- Last year, in a blog by NWEA Researcher Michael Dahlin on summer loss we referenced a broadcast that includes interviews with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Johns Hopkins researcher Ron Fairchild.