6 Learning Ideas to Prevent Summer Brain Drain
School’s out and the sun’s out—yes, summer is here. For many children, summertime is when books collect dust and the “break” from learning begins. While fun and refreshing, this break has downsides: it can lead to the dreaded “summer brain drain”—a time when learning and engagement decide to hibernate until fall.
This doesn’t have to happen. Even during the summer months, students can continue to learn, accomplish their educational goals, and expand their creativity. Here are some entertaining summer activities to keep students engaged all season long:
Start a blog.
Does your child love writing? Summer is the perfect time to start a blog. Blogs are a great place to unleash creativity. Best of all, since blogs are digital, they can easily be shared with family and friends to keep them up to date on your child’s adventures and learnings. Topic ideas can span anything and everything—from simple “day in the life” posts to your child’s inner thoughts and feelings to fictional storytelling. The purpose is to be creative and enjoy the writing process.
Some blog tools or platforms are free and extremely user-friendly. These include Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, Medium, and more. We recommend that you supervise to ensure that your child posts only appropriate material and adheres to online safety practices.
If you want to avoid the “digital” component of a blog, simply encourage your children to write in a journal. They can keep their writing to themselves or share it with others to read.
Turn a family road trip into math practice.
Will you be spending a lot of time in the car this summer for a family road trip? Take advantage of the occasion to expand summer learning. Help your child practice their math skills by calculating distances and mileage. For older children, help them take an active role in learning money management by tracking money spent on gas, rest stops, and/or meals. These types of activities can happen so organically, they may not even feel like “learning” to your kids!
Try a summer science project.
Connections Academy has a large stock of DIY science projects that are perfect for summertime. Many of them use materials you probably have lying around the house already. Set aside some time to work on one of these activities with your child:
DIY Soda Bottle Compost
Use this instructographic to teach your kids about composting, its importance, how it works, and how they can get involved.
Create Your Own Constellation Projector
This hands-on star projector adds a fun, easy-to-understand element to astronomy, along with a mini lesson on the constellations.
Grow Your Own Shoe Garden
Teach your child the value of repurposing with this simple shoe planter activity.
Sunscreen Science Activity for Kids
Conduct an experiment to test the effectiveness of sunscreen on paper.
Plan out “theme” days.
Make every day of the week fun and exciting, focusing on something different each day! For example, Wednesdays could be “Bookworm Wednesdays” and could involve a trip to the library to get new books, time set aside to read in a cozy corner with some popcorn, and discussions about stories your child loves.
Or maybe you have “Motivational Mondays” that involve planning out a new set of goals for the week, helping with chores, creating something new (painting, building, writing, coloring), etc. The purpose is to focus on a different “theme” and associated activities each day so your child always has something new and exciting to learn and look forward to.
Join a summer learning program.
Learning can continue during the summer, and a summer learning program is a great way to do so. The Summer Connections program is free to enrolled Connections Academy students, including those who are enrolling for the upcoming school year. It’s a fun way to keep students’ brains active and continuously learning during the summer “break”, and it also gives students a great opportunity to become acquainted with using the education management system prior to the school year beginning in the fall.
Here are a handful of other benefits your student may experience from Summer Connections:
- An opportunity to participate in many exciting online school clubs available through the student experience program offered during the school year
- New friendships among the virtual school community
- A chance to play chess in our own Chess Gaming System with other students
- Opportunities for students to share original work and be celebrated
Participate in a variety of summer learning sessions.
Summer Connections has a full agenda of fun, educational sessions taking place this summer. Best of all—these sessions are planned for students of all ages, from the kindergartener to the high school senior. Every summer we offer fun and interesting activities about books, crafts, science, cooking, and more! For summer 2016, the theme is Superheroes, and sessions include Wonders of the World, College Planning, Science Behind Superheroes, Atomic Art, Superhero Math, plus a full calendar brimming with other options.
Are you a parent of a child attending Connections Academy? We would love to hear how you keep your child learning throughout the summer months in the comments below.
Or if you are considering enrolling your child in an online education, learn more about Connections Academy today.