Avoiding Summer "Brain-Drain"
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Researchers have found that children’s performance in multiple subjects can slip over the course of the summer. In fact, on average, a child can lose up to 2 months of their knowledge. This is commonly referred to as the “brain drain” or summer “slide.” It’s very important for parents to support this through games, field trips, and shared conversations.
Dr. Jody Sherman Levos, Learning Designer from LeapFrog offered some tips, for starters they've developed an 8-week Summer Camp program offering tips for keeping a child engaged during the summer.
“Summer is a great opportunity to show your kids that learning is not just about the classroom but can occur anytime, anywhere,” said Dr. Levos.
Educational technology that entertains and engages children can help them learn new things and practice important skills, during school-free months. Dr. Levos says that,“ kids are engaged with technology at a younger age and more often than ever before.”
Technology can provide new and exciting ways to learn, many kids are already using their parent’s devices such as tablets at home. Dr. Levos recommends the LeapPad, and said…“the LeapPad has that touc screen that kids love so much, it’s also kid- tough.”
Recently, LeapFrog Learning Report Card found technology has also become part of a child’s everyday school life with nearly two out of three students using a computer at school. It’s crucial that parents choose content for their child that not only offers entertainment, but that can supplement and support what a child is learning in the classroom.
The majority of kids are still struggling with math, and subjects like social studies, science and art are taking a back seat. It’s essential that kids get a well-rounded educational experience over the summer –not only by practicing reading but by strengthening math, social studies, art and music skills as well.
So, how do parents know what apps and content are truly educational?
The best approach is to research what content you’re purchasing for your child by watching demos of that product or app, testing free trials when available, etc.
"Kids learn best through play, when they're having fun. So you're going to want to find games and apps that really appeal to that," says Dr. Levos.
LeapFrog has a number of apps and cartridge games that support all subject matters and really address the whole child, focusing on core academic skills and beyond.
Overall, you want to make sure that content is entertaining, engaging and skill-building. Games and adventures, combined with casual conversations, can provide the right learning experiences for our kids.