School is out for summer! While the children are ecstatic, many parents are more than just a little anxious about something called the brain drain. Will their children lose what knowledge and skills they acquired during the school year?
Summer brain drain is not an uncommon occurrence. With the long summer weeks and the hot weather of the last few years, many children spend a great deal of time inside, and for many, that means sitting in front of the television or playing video games.
Some parents, like Greenwood mother, Ashley Neeson, have taken matters into their own hands and put together a home summer school program for their children. While not as extensive as the school during the academic year, it does keep children on a structured learning schedule and encourages them to keep acquiring knowledge outside of the traditional classroom.
“I have a lot of teacher friends and kept hearing that kids were coming back from summer break completely lost and hadn’t retained some things from the previous year. I wanted better than that for my kids, so we decided to ‘summer school,” said Neeson.
Neeson recommends the Summer Bridge program as a way to structure curriculum for children grades Kindergarten on up. The Summer Bridge program is a series of books bridging different grade levels, such as students transitioning from second to third grade. The books involve a daily curriculum broken down by months of days.
“Every day your child is doing a little bit of math and English to keep everything fresh in their minds over the summer. I happen to have two gifted children, so we also supplement Summer Bridge with some more challenging worksheets from Spectrum and Kumon,”said Neeson.
All of these books can be found at your local book store or at Amazon.com.
While some students may be resistant, not all children are completely against the idea. For instance, Neeson’s children are excited for the opportunity to learn during the summer.
“My second going into third grader is completely stoked for ‘summer school”, Neeson said. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up and is always asking for extra work. My fourth going into fifth is, shall we say tolerant and realistic. She knows that by working this summer, she won’t be out of the loop at the start of the school year.”
The program is not an all day ordeal. For Neeson, they have “summer school” for approximately three hours per day.
The local library also has resources for parents who are looking for ideas on how to engage their children during the summer. A list of events for days and evenings are available on the library’s online calendar.
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