Mental Health Parenting

7 ways to help kids avoid summer brain drain

Recent studies have shown that most students lose several months’ worth of learning over summer break. Dr.  Andrew Kemp, a Professor in Augusta University’s College of Education, recommends the following tips to help your child combat summer learning loss:

  1. Cultivate your child’s inner bookworm: Help your child learn to enjoy reading without always associating it with school work by creating a book club with purely recreational books that are both interesting and challenging.  Take time to also read newspapers, magazines, and kid-friendly websites.
  1. Use television to your advantage: While you want to limit the amount of time your child spends watching television, be sure to make educational programming part of the routine.  However, while  watching the show, start a discussion regarding the television program.  This is a great way to discover what your child is comprehending.
  1. Take a field trip: In addition to heading to the beach this summer, be sure to add attractions such as museums, zoos, and farms to the itinerary. These locations are not only educational, but also fun to explore.
  1. Try something new: Do not be afraid to introduce your children to new foods, music, art, or an activity.  Trying new things will allow for critical thinking and promote confidence.
  1. Get creative: Arts and crafts, such as creating a summer vacation scrapbook, are a perfect way to let your child express their creativity while keeping their mind stimulated.
  1. Summer enrichment programs: Keep your child engaged by taking advantage of school or community programs.
  1. Just talk: One of the most important things that you can do is talk to your child about what is going on in their lives, in the neighborhood and in the world.  You might find that your child has interests that you did not know about.

Kemp is Professor of Teacher Education in the College of Education at Augusta University and a former high school teacher. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of South Florida, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from South Dakota State University, and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Central Florida.

About the author

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the only facility in the area dedicated exclusively to children. It staffs the largest team of pediatric specialists in the region who deliver out- and in- patient care for everything from common childhood illnesses to life-threatening conditions like heart disorders, cancer and neurological diseases.