It's mid-May and COVID-19 has really hit us hard the last few months. Our children have been continuing school at home and parents hope they've done their best jobs as temporary teachers.
Regardless of COVID-19, the summer months always present a challenge for parents to avoid the learning loss often referred to as "Brain Drain" or "Summer Slide". This Brain Drain or Summer Slide occurs when there is an extended break from structured learning and scheduled academic work which can make it so easy to forget material that has already been learned. COVID-19 has accelerated these concerns for parents and educators since children have not been in the classroom and in a structured learning environment for the last two months.
Here are some tips to help you avoid Brain Drain and Summer Slide for the next few months:
1. Continue your home schooling routine every day with 30 minutes of school work (or however many productive hours you can do).
2. Order summer workbooks to work on every day such as Math and Language Arts.
3. Schedule 15 minutes of reading time every day. Let your child choose his or her book to read and also pick out a book for yourself to read. Be a reading role model!
4. Use a reading log to hold everyone accountable to read every day.
5. Exercise every day. Summer camps may not be available this year. Take a walk with your child in the morning before summer school work or anytime during the day that fits in your schedule.
Dr. John J. Ratey, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, explains in his book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, that exercise improves learning on three levels: "First, it optimizes your mind-set to improve alertness, attention, and motivation; second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for logging in new information; and third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus." In short, not only does exercise help the brain get ready to learn but it actually makes retaining information easier.
6. Last, not all technology is bad. There are many apps and websites that make learning fun such as ABCMouse.
My Bookworm Box can help you keep books at home this summer for your child to read. Shop our Summer Reading Subscriptions HERE