No Time for Summer Brain Drain with these 3 Effective Tips
Often students return to their new school year in the fall at lower levels of achievement than they ended the previous year in the spring. This is the result of the dreaded “summer brain drain” – the loss of once learned material caused by lack of reinforcement and practice. This learning slip can have a significant impact on students’ future learning. The majority of teachers report spending up to a month re-teaching material students have forgotten over the summer. In the long run, of course, this is detrimental to all students. Here’s what you need to know about “brain drain” and how you can help prevent it in your children:
- It is not inevitable! There are a number of ways to engage students over the summer break and help them retain what they’ve learned. Check out this Summer Math Fun post for some great summer math activities or this Summer Reading Ideas post for some fun writing ideas.
- Enroll your students in an enjoyable summer program with skilled instructors (like the RITES summer programs!). Educators surveyed by the Washington Post emphasized the importance of relaxation and play. Programs like ours offer valuable instruction, while still encouraging students to enjoy their summer vacations.
- Your school teachers are excellent resources! At the end of the school year, ask your child’s teacher for recommendations of activities and exercises to practice over the summer, which may be tailored to your child specifically. You can also reach out to next year’s teachers for resources.
As Gary Huggins, the chief executive of the National Summer Learning Association, said to the Washington Post, “summer is a great break from schools, but it doesn’t have to be a break from learning.” Much less an acceptance of “brain draining”!