Parent to Parent: Summertime Brain Drain
Parent to Parent
Summertime Brain Drain
by Patti Hermes
I do it every year. I have the best of intentions. I plan on continuing school through the summer to prevent the inevitable summer brain drain.
But they need their summer vacation! They need Spring Break and Winter Break and Columbus Day weekend and just about any break they can get. Unless your school is fun and games and “child-led learning” and all that, and very few are like that, burnout is a factor to be considered. Just like adults need vacations, kids need a break from school. Even more so. And summertime, when the weather is so nice it’s a crime to waste it indoors, is perfect for lazing around, forgetting everything they learned all year.
This year I’ve got a plan. Instead of squeezing in a little math review every week (which I never seem to get around to anyway), I’m going to incorporate their learning into play. We’re going to have fun this summer!
I’m compiling a list of new internet sites for them, and online games we haven’t tried, yet. And we’ve added some new software to our library, as well. So there will be lots of new toys to be discovered during down time. I also will be encouraging the use of the internet for communicating with family and friends spread far and wide. And not just email, but sharing photos and videos, too.
The local library has them excited to participate in the Summer Reading Program, and even has my older one challenging himself with books that would be too tough to handle during a regular school year. All I have to do is keep them supplied with plenty of materials, and the program provides the incentives (as in prizes). And comic books count, too!
Our lazy summer afternoons have also given us some time to explore all those fun things to do in their activity books. There’s plenty of learning to be gained just by letting them explore and get all muddy down by the river (they’re looking for some friends to join in on a gross scavenger hunt!), and even the mess of art projects has been moved outdoors.
And for those inevitable rainy days? Well, we can join the masses at the local children’s museum, or we can get out our fun science books and cook up some messes in the kitchen. I’ve been scanning the pages and stocking up on supplies for those, as well.
So, there will be no lazy summer vacation for Mom. I’ll be busy avoiding housework and cooking up our next fun project. Or maybe just chasing the boys around the yard with some water balloons. But I’m not going to worry about summertime brain drain this summer. We’re going to play!
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