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25 Tips to Help Avoid the Summer Brain Drain

Updated: 07/28/2014 9:50 AM
Created: 07/24/2014 5:00 AM WDIO.com
By: Julie Kruse
jkruse@wdio.com

Beyond the Classroom

With only one month left until school starts up again, how can you help your child avoid feeling behind come the first day of school? Although these tips are encouraged throughout the entire summer, experts say it's better late than never. Not only can these activities be fun, but they can also help build your child's confidence for the first day of school.

Similarly, MindShift has created this list of 50 ways to fight the summer brain drain. However, we have accrued 25 of our own that's specifically for the Northland. This list is only a glimpse into the hundreds of activities you can do with your child. If you have any recommendations that aren't on the list, please email jkruse@wdio.com and they can be added after review.

READING AND WRITING IS KEY

  • Read everyday: The summer is a time for children to pick a book that interests them rather then something that's assigned to them.
  • Join a book club: Kids can make reading a social experience.
  • Summer reading camp: This virtual camp engages kids in competitive reading.
  • Keep a journal: Encourage your kids to stay sharp on their writing skills through a diary or journal.
  • Write postcards or letters: This allows your kids to practice their grammar skills as well as stay in touch with family or friends.
  • Start a blog: Even on the computer, kids can practice their grammar, spelling and creative writing through this outlet.

MATH CAN BE TRICKY

  • Create a shopping list with a budget: If they're old enough, they could even cook. Otherwise they can practice their math skills in an every day situation.
  • Build a bird feeder: Kids can engage in measuring and reading directions, and they can build it on a budget.
  • Khan Academy: A great resource for free classes, but especially for math. It came recommended by several teachers.
  • Hooda Math: Math games by grade level.
  • ALEKS: Although this program costs money, it has been used by millions of students at thousands of K-12 schools.

ENCOURAGE A SECOND LANGUAGE

  • Duolingo: A smartphone app that can help your child learn a different language.
  • Open Culture: This program allows you to download free audio lessons to your computer and take them on the go through an MP3 player.
  • Learn a Language: Doors open as your child partakes in these language lessons.

LET KIDS EXPLORE

  • Plant a garden: Kids can learn about dirt, seeds, seedlings, where there food comes from and more.
  • Go to a baseball game: You can discuss strategy and scores through this fun activity.
  • Visit the zoo: Kids can learn about animal life and how they interact with one another.
  • Visit the aquarium: The aquarium often offers summer programs for kids, so you can check out what they have to offer.
  • Visit the YMCA: Several programs occur during the summer through the YMCA, it just takes one click to find out what is near you.
  • Go camping: Explore the great outdoors while learning about bugs, trees, and survival among other things.
  • Host a lemonade stand: This delicious activity can teach kids the basics of math and business.

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