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Education PROVIDE YOUR KIDS WITH FUN,


Summer SMARTS


ENRICHING LEARNING EXPERIENCES 


minds automatically turn to staying up late, sleeping in and having plenty of free time with minimal responsibilities.





Avoiding Brain Drain Summer is also a time when kids often be- come bored and lack opportunities to con- tinue learning. Brain drain refers to a child’s loss of academic skills by not engaging in educational activities over the summer. Ac- cording to the American Summer Learning Association, brain drain is one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth. According to research, most youngsters lose about two months’ worth of math skills during the summer. While children from middle-class homes may make slight gains in their reading skills between June and August, low-income youth lose more than two months’ worth of reading skills. To prevent brain drain, it’s important to find summer activities for your children that are fun, educational and enriching. Doing so will allow kids to transition more smoothly back to school in the fall. One of the best ways to minimize brain drain is to give your children opportuni-


44


ention summer vacation to many grade-school children, and their


ties to read. Approach assigned summer reading lists with enthusiasm, making reading a game instead of a chore. Often, free local library summer- reading programs offer prize incentives for the number of books kids read. Introduce your children to some of your favorite childhood books and keep up the dialogue by reading their favorite books and learning what makes them so special. Children can also engage in short-story writing to keep their creative juices flow- ing while improving their writing skills. Suggest that your kids keep a journal/ scrapbook about their summer activities.


A Time for Exploration Summer is a great time for exploring near and far, and you can make fun learning ex- periences from many of your family adven- tures. Visiting local art or science museums, parks and zoos can help your children learn about their world. Have them collect nature items and spend time learning about their origins. Gardening is a great outdoor activ- ity that teaches patience and the basics of earth science. Visit a local farmers’ market and show your kids how to budget a small amount of money and count change as you purchase homegrown goodies.


www.readysetgrowmag.com


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