What is Summer Brain Drain?
“Summer brain drain” is another term for summertime regression and describes the loss in learning that children experience during the long summer holidays. Extensive studies show that children, who are fluent readers and who love to read for fun during the summer holidays, may actually improve their literacy skills. However, children with less fluent reading skills and who never read during the long break can actually regress by two months.
In maths, the learning loss is even greater across the board and students can lose up to 2.6 months in mathematical skills each summer.
Imagine the frustration. A child has worked so hard during the school year to learn new maths concepts, only to find that by the end of term, they have forgotten everything! By the time they move up to a new school year and have to learn all over again. However, there may NOT be time to learn these skills again as the class may move on swiftly to more advanced maths concepts. If gaps in learning in certain core maths skills occur, this can make it very difficult for children to learn and fully grasp new maths concepts; they may fall behind and never catch up.
How Can You Stop Summer Learning Loss?
The mindset of many students (and some parents too) is that when school is closed for the summer break it is time for children to stop learning, get out and play and not think about school until the start of the new term. However, if parents want their child to really succeed academically, it is important that they find activities to encourage their child to keep their brain active; this will ensure that children are able to make a smooth transition to the next academic year, without losing ground.
For some children who have struggled with learning at school in the past year, they may be very reluctant to do any activities that resemble homework but there are many activities that you can do with children that won’t SEEM like learning.
This is an obvious suggestion but please take regular trips to the library and take time to browse through lots of books until your child has chosen ones that they want to read. If your child is a reluctant reader, it may be because they are not very fluent and lack confidence so let them choose what they want to read. It may be that a comic book or magazine is more suited to your child at the moment but it does not matter what they read as long as they are reading regularly.
If you are going on holiday or visiting special places this summer, why not create a scrapbook for the family and encourage all family members to add photos and write little stories about your days out? If someone is computer literate, why not set up a free blogsite and get your children to publish stories about their days out or holiday? If you have watched a great film together, ask the family members to write a short review and compare notes. Whatever you do, try and make it fun and exciting!
Try to introduce family games that involve concentration. Many card games have elements of mathematics. If you are in the car for a long journey, turn off the radio and ipads and play some memory and word games. Print off some riddles from the internet to get the family thinking and involved. Practice singing the times tables in funny voices with younger children. Your local Kip McGrath Centre may stock our awesome times tables CD with catch songs to sing and dance along to.
Money and Counting
When you go shopping with your child, why not give them a small budget to buy something and look for items that they can afford. Discuss how much something costs and how much change they would get back. Perhaps they could help with a small weekly shopping budget and keep a tally of the items in your basket.
If you are going on a trip, plan the journey together and ask children to help you work out how long the journey will take depending on the distance, the average speed, time for breaks and any unexpected factors like traffic jams or road works. Ask all the family to estimate what time you will reach your destination and whoever is closest wins a reward.
For many children, especially those who have struggled academically during the term or are moving up to an important academic year and are ambitious to keep a step ahead, our Kip McGrath Summer programmes give your child the opportunity to work with qualified teachers in a modern and fully equipped learning centre so that they can kick start their learning and place them in pole position when they return to school. Our centres are on a mission to beat the summer brain drain.
Many of our 200 Kip McGrath Education Centres in the UK remain open throughout the summer and offer special classes in English and Maths which are taught by enthusiastic, qualified teachers. Each centre has its own timetable with the usual 80 minute session plus additional options to suit all needs. Please contact your local centre to find out exactly what’s on offer and enrol for summer school.
Our 80 minute lessons once a week will ensure that your child retains the knowledge they have learned in the previous term and give them the best possible start to the new academic year.
This year we can also offer students tuition by a qualified teacher in the comfort of their own home via a webcam and online connection from anywhere in the world. Our teachers will complete an online assessment and create an individual learning programme for your child. This means your child can login for a lesson from anywhere as long as you have a good internet connection.
To find out more about our online tuition, please go to http:///www.kiponline.co.uk