School is hard work, and once vacation sets in, carefully honed study habits often go right out the window. The transition back to school from vacation, whether it is winter break, spring break, or summer vacation can be a rough one as kids try to pick up where they left off. They may seem to know less than they did before the holiday, and this phenomenon is called “brain drain.”
Use it or Lose it
Brain power is like a muscle. If you’re not in there working out at least a little every day, you lose most of your gains from the previous year. Kids can forget two and a half months of skills once they walk out the door at that last bell. It’s not about pinning kids down with the book for the summer or an extended school break; it’s about keeping that brain active with educational activities. Typically, it is students from low-income families that suffer from this reversal more than those from middle-class families who have more resources and learning activities for kids to keep students engaged over the times when they are not in school.
Train the Brain: Old School Style
Many parents are uncomfortable with the amount of screen time that their kids get every day. Telling them that too much time staring at their phone or tablet is bad and then giving them parent-approved reasons for more screen time sends a confusing message. Instead, try breaking out learning activities for kids old school style.
- Check out programs at your local library. Young children can benefit from story hour, while older children can benefit from reading competitions.
- A summer camp with an academic component can be very engaging and enjoyable while allowing kids to break out of their school friend circle.
- Programs at local parks, the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, or scouting can also help to stop brain drain.
- Take trips to local attractions and museums, especially those oriented towards children.
Don’t Overdo it
Vacations – whether for kids or adults – are designed to allow people to recharge, reconnect with family and friends, and have fun. Don’t push your kids into too many structured academic activities; kids need to rest and recharge too. When it comes to learning activities for kids in Scottsdale and the surrounding area, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is a great place to start. The museum is designed for children and designed to be an interactive and fun learning experience, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is just the place for kids to create, build, learn, and play.