Prevent Summer Brain Drain
Published July 8, 2011 @ 4:12 p.m.
Summer brain drain, the summer slide – whatever you want to call it, recent research has shown that students experience significant learning loss when they do not participate in educational activities during the summer months. Studies also indicate that students on average score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer than they do on the same tests at the end of the school year. In addition, students do not typically catch up in the fall and teachers spend the first 4-6 weeks of the new school year re-teaching material that students have lost during the summer. (www.brighthub.com)
This kind of data is often used to support a change in the school year to exclude the summer break. However, there are some simple ways to keep your child’s mind engaged during the summer and still have plenty of time for fun.
Offer reading opportunities throughout the day and night by making the newspaper, websites, books, and magazines available. Before heading a baseball game or going on a summer trip, pick out a book that discusses the activity or location. Consider allowing your children to read in bed, even allowing them to stay up later as long as they are reading. Involve the entire family by turning off the television and computers and designate a regular time when your whole family reads, individually or as a group. Make time daily to listen to your child read aloud. This can be as brief as 15 minutes, yet it lets your child know this is important to you and the practice will keep his reading skills from declining during the summer. Make the local library a regular stop during the summer.
The Post Public Library just completed its summer reading program for kids in our community. Over 30 children, mostly elementary school age, participated. The state supported program, "Dig Up a Good Book," provided a reading log and bookmark for each participant. Each child was given personalized "doggie paw" posters to display in the library window and some brought favorite stuffed dogs to add to the display. Each time a reader returned a book to the local library on time, he got to add a sticker to his poster and enter his name in a drawing.
“Reading enables you to take an adventure and, while you're reading, you can become anyone you want to be,” said Peggy Ashley, Post librarian. ”While you are traveling, if you read a book the trip will seem much shorter."
The Post Public Library, 105 E. Main, is open to the community Monday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you have any questions about obtaining a free library card or other library services call 806-990-2149.