Tips to help kids beat 'summer brain drain'

How do you keep the kids learning when school is out for the summer?

Battling the so-called "summer brain drain" can be tough but it is doable, and experts say it's worth making the effort.

It may be summer but 6-year-old Coralyn Cleveland from Queen Creek is still keeping her school skills sharp.
"It's got phonics, reading, stories, all sorts of stuff in it to keep her busy and get her ready for first grade so she doesn't fall behind," said Jamie Cleveland, Coralyn's mom.

Coralyn's teacher sent her home with a summer learning packet -- one of many ways to keep that dreaded "brain drain" at bay.

"There's a long-term drag on student achievement from the loss that occurs every summer," said Matthew Boulay, founder of the National Summer Learning Association.

The non-profit estimates students lose two months of math skills each summer. Lower-income children can lose another two to three months in reading, and 9 in 10 teachers spend at least three weeks re-teaching lessons at the start of the school year.

So what can you do to help?

"Summer learning should not be summer school," said Boulay. He recommends starting small, keeping it fun and playing off your child's passions or interests.

"If your child likes art, spend some time going to museums, looking at art online, doing art at home, arts and crafts," Boulay said.

"We use cooking to incorporate STEAM learning," said Coralyn's mom.

Small steps the Cleveland family is taking now to help Coralyn with long-term school success.

"I just hope she really likes learning and that it's fun for her," she said.

Print this article Back to Top

Your Region News
West Valley Phoenix Metro Southeast Valley Northeast Valley Northern Arizona Central/Southern AZ