Making the Most of Summer: Keeping Minds Sharp


Anchor - Todd Faulkner
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

Ask your child's teacher what they worry about most during the summer months.  You might hear many of them talk about the dreaded summer brain drain.

A University of Missouri-Columbia study found when students return to school after a long summer vacation, they've lost one to three months worth of learning.

What can parents do to keep a child's mind sharp?

First, keep lots of books around the house and make regular trips to the library.  Most libraries have special summer events for kids. The plus? They're often free.

Second, find out what kids may be learning next year and plan the family vacation around it.  For example, if it's a unit on the Civil War, you may want to schedule a visit to Gettysburg.  If it's geology, visit a national park.

Number three:  keep math in mind.  When it's time to cook, have your child help so you can discuss measurements, or if there's a special building project, have your child use the tape measure.  You can also buy a book full of math problems at your local book store.  Have them do 10 problems a week.

Coming in at number four:  start an argument.  What child doesn't want something? Build thier persuasive skills by asking your son or daughter to create a poster or even a powerpoint presentation to sell you on the idea.  Have them present at least three good reasons that support their argument.

Number five:  get outside and play. Intense physical activity programs have positive effects on academic achievement.

Finally, number six:  limit time with tv and video games, just as you do during the school year.