If there is one thing that annoys me, it’s children who are not challenged during the summer. As a teacher, I don’t need to read statistics about the learning loss children face during the summer months, also known as summer brain drain, because I. LIVE. IT each fall when school starts up again!
I trudge through this every September when students walk through my classroom door having gone down a few reading levels. It both baffles, and infuriates me, because learning does not finish at the end of the school year. It should continue at home.
There is no excuse. There are plenty of things that parents can do to avoid summer brain drain and maintain, or exceed, their child’s current learning level. Remember, you are your child’s first teacher. You are their best advocate! No degree or background in education can replace that. If you need to learn as your child is learning … so be it! Don’t let the new common core state standards frighten you. Educate yourself so that you can educate your child and push your child further!
To start, review your child’s school work to determine their reading and math levels. Look for any areas where they have room to grow. If possible, find out what’s expected in the next grade. Use this information to prepare your child for the upcoming year.
Now that you know your child’s school levels, find online resources. The internet provides parents with a multitude of information on standards, expectations, teaching strategies and even fun activities! If your child leaves Kindergarten at a D reading level (reading in first grade beginning at a D level), work with him or her during the summer to help them move up a level or two! This way they will begin the school year ahead of the game!
Show administration that you want the best for your child. Ask them for recommendations on enrichment resources and links to sites that they use. Not only will this demonstrate how involved you are, but it’ll also give you insight into the resources the school uses.
Lastly, never make learning a chore but rather a (fun!) part of everyday life. This way, you’ll both start the year off prepared and relaxed – there’s no better feeling than that!
It’s evident to teachers on the first day of school, the children who have read and who have received that extra academic attention, as opposed to those who were in front of the television all day, every day. Let’s make sure your child is the one that received the extra academic attention!
Let’s talk! How do you avoid the summer brain drain with your child(ren)? Share your thoughts in a comment!
Stay tuned for the second part of this series, where I’ll share my favorite strategies and help you create an academic plan to maintain your child’s interest, while helping them get ahead of for the new school year!