Are you worried about summer brain drain?

Editor’s Note: My mom came home from the hospital yesterday and is doing well. They didn’t find any damage to her brain.(We are so lucky!) However, the doctors are disagreeing about the cause of the TIAs. Neurologist thinks it’s a medicine she’s been on for more than a decade. The doctor who prescribed the medicine says no way. If it’s not the medicine, then we need to know what caused it. Sorry for the non-posting! Back to business!

We just got out of school yesterday and there are already 47 articles on Google News about keeping your kids’ brains from turning to mush during the summer.

I am irritated by these articles! Let the children have some fun. Let the children unwind. Let the children have physical activity that they don’t have time for during the school year. Every afternoon is a mad rush of snack, homework, maybe an activity, and then dinner, bath and bed.  We are so thrilled to have leisure time to explore books, play games, play out back or just let their little minds wander and play pretend.

But it seems the National Summer Learning Association wants you to be afraid, very afraid.

From Boston.com

“…But according to the National Summer Learning Association, when kids take an absolute break from education during the summer months — whether by circumstance or by design — they lose about two months worth of grade-level equivalency in math skills, and low-income students lose more than two months worth of reading achievement (middle-class students ususally make slight gains). ‘More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities,’ the National Summer Learning Association points out.”

I am a little bit incredulous to these numbers, but I do completely agree that kids’ minds can’t shut off completely during the summer. However, they don’t have to be drilled to death in front of a workbook to keep their brains active. There are so many organic ways for kids to learn during the summer that aren’t painful.

We’re going to read, visit museums and zoos and places that hold intrinsic educational value without beating them over the heads with academics.  Even going to the grocery store can be a fun place to think . (An actual conversation from our grocery store trip this week: Which oranges are we going to buy? The ones from California or the ones from Florida? (The California ones were $2 more a pound. Rose says the Florida ones. I said why do you think the California ones are more expensive? She replied because they had to ship them farther. Economics, math, business and environmentalism all rolled into one!) Meanwhile, Walsh was sorting and then re-sorting the stuff in our cart in different ways – snack food, dry food, cold food, squishable food.)

Our school offers music and art camps during June. VBS easy fun way to keep them thinking.

The Detroit Free Press has a nice list of fun activities that also hold organic education opportunities.

So what do you think? Do you buy into the Summer Learning Association’s numbers? Do you try to keep their brains moving during the summer? Or are just happy to let them be free? What about workbooks or classes versus exploring their world through play? What are your education plans for the summer?

44 comments Add your comment

JATL

May 27th, 2010
12:31 pm

I completely agree with you Theresa about letting kids have a childhood and enjoy summer! I find the statistics a bit dubious, but I (and my children will be doing this) READ all summer long when I was a kid. I stayed outside most of the time and played for hours at the pool, but I read so much. I loved the fact that every week when we went grocery shopping, my mother took me to the library first, and I checked out TONS of books. My summers also didn’t consist of sitting in front of a t.v. or a computer game (some can be educational, but lots don’t require much thought). Anyway -once again if you have parents who don’t instill everyday thinking and activities that make kids use their brains, well, you’re going to have people who don’t THINK -the parents, the kids -it’s a vicious cycle…I am happy that many of the summer day camps out there provide lots of thinking activities AND physical summer activity.

What's the difference...

May 27th, 2010
12:54 pm

…between the suggestion that you not let your kids’ “brains drain”, and your suggestion that you are going to “have leisure time to explore books, play games”… and… “We’re going to read, visit museums and zoos and places that hold intrinsic educational value without beating them over the heads with academics. Even going to the grocery store can be a fun place to think . (An actual conversation from our grocery store trip this week: Which oranges are we going to buy? The ones from California or the ones from Florida? (The California ones were $2 more a pound. Rose says the Florida ones. I said why do you think the California ones are more expensive? She replied because they had to ship them farther. Economics, math, business and environmentalism all rolled into one!) Meanwhile, Walsh was sorting and then re-sorting the stuff in our cart in different ways – snack food, dry food, cold food, squishable food.)”.

Seems you are picking nits and getting your panties in a wad over nothing…..

Jeff

May 27th, 2010
1:46 pm

TWG – congrats on the great info @ your mom.

I don’t believe statistics for a second because I work with them every day. And I’ve seen it manipulated far too many times to achieve or back up a preconceived talking point. When it comes to statistics, it’s the story of the boy who cried wolf, or chicken little, take your pick.

Give your child some books to read by the end of the summer and let them figure out how to accomplish both.

Peachy

May 27th, 2010
1:48 pm

I think you are actually agreeing with what you say you are disagreeing with. The article says, “when kids take an absolute break from education during the summer months,” you say, “We’re going to read, visit museums and zoos and places that hold intrinsic educational value without beating them over the heads with academics.” Therefore you are avoiding your children’s minds turning to mush because you are not taking an absolute break from education. So I don’t understand why you are irritated because you are taking and seem to agree with their advice.

All that being said, I also agree with the articles and you. Children can’t just watch TV all day and the “real life” and realized way you are continuing education through the summer is great! I still remember going to the library in the summer every week and getting a basket full of books…

Lori

May 27th, 2010
2:12 pm

I agree, Peachy. If she is that involved with her kids, then they aren’t taking an absolute break from learning. I don’t plan to stuff “lessons” down my sons throat either this summer, but regardless of summer, fall, winter, spring, I’m always on the lookout for a mini-lesson I can sneak in. It’s sad for the kids whose parents aren’t as involved as Theresa seems to be, and I certainly try to be. We study volume and measurement in the bathroom with old cups, we make up stories in the car on long drives and take turns telling parts, we read Spongebob books instead of watching the show, we talk about stars and planets by playing with the Google Sky map on my phone, etc. There are sooo many ways to make your kids think it’s just fun, but it’s really learning. You don’t have to limit this to summertime, but certainly the kids have more time when schools out. So happy hunting for those fun lessons!

cld

May 27th, 2010
2:41 pm

I am skeptical of the statistics because, like Jeff, I see them obscured on a regular basis in order to meet the needs of the party requesting the information . . .

But maybe the examples Theresa listed are a perfect illustration of why there’s a disconnect between lower-income children and middle-to-upper-income children. Sure, a middle-class child might spend 80% of his summer relaxing, playing sports in the neighborhood, etc. But maybe one day a week he’s going to the zoo, a museum, a farmer’s market, etc. Keeping some brain activity going . . . not completely vegging in front of the TV for 10 hours a day while parents are at work and there’s no one looking in on him.

I know most kids don’t read for fun. We usually had to read one book during the summer (from a list of five or six), and the first week back to school our English teacher gave an assignment about the book. For AP English, I think we had to read five or six mammoth-sized novels. However, I’m betting the better-off kids have access to more books at home than the lower-income kids. So unless the lower-income kids hit the library during the summer, their book access disappears with the dismissal bell.

I don’t think workbooks are the answer to summer brain drain. But the occasional field trip (with an educational spin) or novel, doesn’t hurt.

Dar

May 27th, 2010
2:45 pm

I believe in kids having a break, but every activity is stimulation for the brain even if not structured like school, isn’t it? You can learn while you are having fun. Building a fort or a skateramp keeps the brain active and teaches you about measurements, angles, etc. Even video games (and a gasp of horror erupts from the crowd) can be educational given the amount of reading involved — seriously, the tips, tricks, cheats, glitches, accomplishments, etc. that my son memorizes have to be doing something positive for his brain. Anyway, I have printed the math text for next year and we are working 20-30 minutes per day on math because that is the one area where my son has problems. We are also trying to read each day, which can be like pulling teeth on that boy some days. Other than that, he is having fun with his friends, taking music lessons, going to hockey and lacrosse camps and sleeping in. We are also taking a few trips this summer, but instead of hitting the more educational sites in each place we are trying to visit as many local skateparks as possible….fun is good.

iRun

May 27th, 2010
2:45 pm

Well, like others, I agree with the article AND T.

My husband and I both work full time outside the home. So son has to go to camp. He’s spending all but 3 weeks of summer vacation at sports camps. We plan to have him do some math worksheets all summer…but that’s got a lot to do with me. I do math for a living and I tend to push the math ed.

I don’t have to push reading. He does that on his own. We don’t watch much TV in our house so he’s got to read or draw or play outside when he’s home.

catlady

May 27th, 2010
3:05 pm

Teresa, I am glad to hear about your mother. Perhaps one of those specialists in gerontology at Emory would be appropriate to track down the source of her problem.

And I REALLY, REALLY think your dad needs a complete evaluation for his inability to respond appropriately to a medical emergency (as I recall you said he had to go home to eat before addressing the fact that his wife was in trouble, and then YOU came and took her to the hospital.) Please look into this! What if, in the middle of the night, she needs help but he instead thinks his sleep is more important?!?

I think middle and upper class parents “do” educational activities all the time. It is part of “elaborated language” which is more than “shut up. Don’t bother me. Watch TV.”

My suggestion: let the kids come up with a list of activities they’d like to pursue, then let them choose priorities. As for reading, let them choose material that matches their interests. I remember the summer after kindergarten when my son read every “Garfield” anthology he could. Another summer it was marine archaeology (sunken ships) and another year it was air disasters. There was lots of veg out time, but NOT with TV, computer, or video games. There was also an expectation of volunteer work (mowing for an elderly neighbor, sweeping the parking lot at the church, helping deliver meals on wheels). The math we did was real-world word problems (You’ve read 250 pages? How many more to read? would be an unsophisticated example). We swam, played croquet and board games, took family walks in the evenings. All these are educational activities IF you follow up by talking about them, helping the kids find solutions and make observations and problem-solve.

KKay

May 27th, 2010
3:07 pm

I agree that summer should be a time for children to be carefree and have fun. I am very happy that my children have more time to ride bikes, climb trees or just hang out with their friends. But I am not so naive to believe that all kids spend summer days in carefree or meaningful activities. We’re lucky to have the time and resources to make sure summers are wonderful for our children. I’m guessing that the National Summer Learning Association is focusing more on those children who do not have proper supervision while their parents are working three jobs.. have few books at home, and have never been to a museum or on a vacation. There are many children who go hungry when school is out because they don’t have access to federally subsidized breakfast and lunch programs.
I’ve often thought that even my kids would benefit from a school sponsored science camp or book club during the summer.. imagine what such an opportunity would mean for a child who has nothing and has struggled in school. When my children write their proverbial “What I did on my summer vacation” they can fill pages and pages. I’m sure many children living in poverty would struggle with that seemingly simple question–

David S

May 27th, 2010
3:50 pm

If they went to government school they didn’t learn anything anyway. If they were homeschooled, they already realize that every day is an opportunity for learning and likely these parents will not stop the learning, just because some arbitrary page of the calendar has turned.

Actually being taught how to learn is the real reason for education. Successful achievement of that goal insures that one learns always because one wants to and knows how to learn without someone in front of them doing the teaching.

Mattie

May 27th, 2010
3:55 pm

When my kids were younger we didn’t do any school work over the summer. They did read, but that was the extent of it.

My neighbor moved here (No . Fulton) from Cherokee, and she believes her kids did much better on the year round schedule. She is having her children tutored over the summer so that they retain what they learned last year.

Has the student achievement improved considerably in those year round districts?

Andrea

May 27th, 2010
3:57 pm

I am clearly in the minority here but my children will have some structured learning over the summer. Math has always been my daughter’s weaker subject and she will be getting free tutoring/prep for the upcoming school year over the summer. I hate to think I am burning her out toward academics. I looked at it as a more relaxed way for her to work on problem areas in a smaller setting. I thought she would actually learn more because there was a more relaxed environment plus fewer children.

We are also doing the summer reading program through our local library. This is not to say that I am against free time – we will definitely be using our new family membership to Fernbank, visiting the aquarium (she has not visited it yet), and playing outside.

After reading some of the comments though, I am starting to rethink my decision to let her go to tutoring. Not so sure anymore.

motherjanegoose

May 27th, 2010
3:59 pm

Theresa…good news on your Mom.
You sound like the type of parent who is already keeping her kid’s minds active.

I am confident catlady could write a book on this but OODLES of Kindergarten students have plans that only include TV, computer, videos, DVDs and Xbox. I asked the Kinder children yesterday to tell me what they wanted to do this summer and said OUTSIDE PLEASE…the teachers were nodding their heads. I even told this fib,
“when you go outside to lay and get some fresh air and sunshine, your body will grow and be ready for 1st grade. If you sit in front of a TV all summer, your teachers will see that you may need to go back to Kindergarten as the other children will be way ahead of you….” Of course, I also told them that it was fine to eat a popsicle every day this summer.

Many parents push their kids off to electronics and ( to me ) this does cause brain drain. It takes more work to DO things with your kids than to send them out to watch TV. Kind of like those who pop a DVD in the car as soon as they pick their kids up from school. TALK TO YOUR KIDS!!!!

Our parents sent us outside all day to play, most likely to get us out of their hair too. Today, kids cannot just ride their bikes all over the neighborhood and have outside time alone. Many are stuck in front of a TV and it is sad!

motherjanegoose

May 27th, 2010
4:01 pm

“outside to play…” OOOPS

pws

May 27th, 2010
4:10 pm

cld: why is it that you think kids do not read for fun? Maybe it’s because during the school year they are so pushed to do other activities and live such a rigid schedule that they don’t have the time to read for fun. Summer is when we should encourage them to read for fun, and we can do that by reading to them when they are younger. Our children are suffering because we as parents are struggling with our rigid schedules. It is a known fact that kids who are read to by their parents develop a love of reading themselves. Summer is the time to read for fun! That said, Teresa, you are doing the right thing, let the kids have FUN during the summer, but use the fun things to keep their brains stimulated. Give them an allowance, and let them do their own spending of that allowance, let them count how much what they want to buy costs, and how much change they will get when they buy it.

Andrea

May 27th, 2010
4:14 pm

@MJG: I too rode bikes all day. We were outside from sunup to sundown. My kids, however, cannot have that kind of absolute freedom. That is not to say that they don’t have freedom, but in light of the times we live in, I can’t just send them outside from sunup to sundown. Our neighbors took the term “looking out” literally and seriously. But, in today’s litiguous society, many people try to keep to themselves. I know most of my neighbors but there are literally two that I know nothing about. I only see them coming in and leaving out.

It can be a double edged sword. Sure, the kids need outside recreation, but as soon as something bad happens, one of the first questions will be “Why did the parents allow the child outside by himself/herself?” And heaven forbid, if there are siblings at home, DFACS will be there taking all of your kids away.

DB

May 27th, 2010
4:16 pm

Funny, I never thought of musuems, etc, as being “educational” — in our house, they were just FUN! Not everything has to be “educational” — kids learn just as much while having fun as they do getting dragged to “educational” venues.

We were huge on traveling — National Parks, historic sites, etc., etc. My kids loved getting those “passport” stamps on their National Parks “passport” they got when they were 6 or 7 years old. 15 years later, they love looking through their passport books, seeing the stamps, and remembering the visits. We tried to subtly mix in traveling with the next year’s history/social studies units — i.e., Atlanta and New England sites before U.S. History, hitting the Lewis & Clark exhibits when we went out west, doing Washington before the year on Government, etc., etc.

We had summer workbooks we kept in the car or in my “activity bag” so if the kids got bored, they could work a few pages, but it was never the “here, we are going to sit at the kitchen table and do math for half an hour every day” sort of thing. That, and we kept those updated “BrainQuest” quiz card games in the car, one for each age group, so the older son could quiz the younger daughter at age appropriate levels, etc. if they were bored waiting for something or for rides to Grandma’s, etc.

catlady

May 27th, 2010
4:31 pm

mjg–I tell kids and parents that children grow healthy just like plants do: dirt, water, sun (with sunscream, as younger kids say, of course).

Kkay, we may have to agree to disagree on this, but kids don’t go hungry because they don’t have subsidized food programs. They go hungry because their parents don’t put their money toward good food, but instead pay for luxuries like cell phones and cable. My school has 70% free/reduced lunch, but the kids still have money for snacks from the snack store on a daily or frequent basis. They can tell you about American Idol, but not about what the capital of the state is. Priorities. So many folks are too reliant on others to take care of their children’s minds, stomachs, bodies, and education (meaning proper upbringing).

iRun

May 27th, 2010
4:33 pm

“If they went to government school they didn’t learn anything anyway.”

*stink-eye*

You are so lame, with your disdain in the brain. And *yawn* your comments are tame when I know you want to flame. Such a drain.

:P

You probably went to “government school”.

BTW, not offended by the phrase “government school”.

catlady

May 27th, 2010
4:34 pm

MJG, I think electronics suck a whole lot of imagination and intelligence out of our kids. Kind of like those spaceships on Close Encounters sucked the power out of the power grid. :)

Old School

May 27th, 2010
4:36 pm

I am delighted to read about the activities many of you are posting on here! What you are doing is allowing your children to apply what they have been learning in school to real world situations. That is what brings it all together into real education. You are reinforcing the learning in a kinder, gentler, and definitely more engaging way.

In addition to the math, geography, reading, and other “lessons,” I hope you are modeling good manners, kindness, sharing, empathy, patience, and especially failing with grace (one of the toughest yet most important skills we all need to develop).

Grandparents, you and I have a golden opportunity to reinforce the efforts of our children with their children. We get to spend lots of time reading, chatting, and even cooking with our grandkids. Make the most of it but be willing to accept the mess with laughter. . . just before you insist they help you clean up. We grandparents probably have more patience and time but we need to think of the future adult disguised as that adorable tot and help make summers as rich and full of all kinds of learning chances as we can.

catlady

May 27th, 2010
4:38 pm

Kkay, my community is having a summer feeding program for the first time this summer. About 10 sites around the county are being used for kids to be brought to, no income restrictions at all, and food will be brought from a central location. The kicker is the kids have to eat the food there–cannot take it home. I predict that once the adults find this out, the number participating (which will be impacted because we live in a rural county and transportation will have to be supplied by the parent or caregiver) will drop dramatically.

G.R.I.T.S.

May 27th, 2010
4:46 pm

i think kids need to read and summer is a good time for them to read what they choose instead of what they have to for school. as soon as my kids could do math i would make a separate grocery list for my coupon purchases and off they would go with that one…they had to figure out if the coupon brand was the better deal than the normal brand etc…it kept them out of my hair while shopping and taught them to shop…and to them it was fun…museums are fun..but also a learning experience….there are so many things that are fun and also learning experiences for everyone..and summer is a great time to take advantage of these. summer also should be time for nothing but playtime…im not sure a lot of kids can play like we used to…as soon as breakfast and shores were done we were GONE!!! my mom never worried and rarely knew where we were….we had to be home by 5:30 for supper or else…but that was it. there are lots of places where kids cant do that these days…also…what about kids whose parents work and arent able to take them to museums etc…they can still read self chosen books but id say there are lots of kids home alone during the day while the parent(s) are at work…i dont think most kids lose much of their previous learning over the summer…thinking that way doesnt say much for our brains ability to retain things….

YUKI

May 27th, 2010
4:57 pm

Thank you iRun, for whatever that was. David S. gets on here and dribbles on about homeschooling, like everyone else is so stupid and beneath him if they are not homeschooling. Whatever!

Uconn

May 27th, 2010
5:37 pm

@Andrea I would go ahead with your daughter’s tutoring plans as she might feel less pressure and get the “hang of it” without all the other stress from school. JMHO

FCM

May 27th, 2010
5:45 pm

They need to get their brain good and empty so there is room for next year. Kidding!

Kids learn great through creative play. It is very unlikely Jr will forget his Triple Rs, but certainly fun things–like yatzee or even just letting them keep score in a game will work. You want tv or pool time? Read for 30 min you get it. It can be done. Plus don’t force them to only read the Summer Reading List. My child might be reading Miss Popularity but at least she is reading :)

TWG so glad to hear that about your mom.

On last thought I agree with Phinas and Ferb–who certainly don’t suffer brain drain:

“There’s 104 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it

Like…
Building a rocket
Or fighting a mummy
Or climbing up the Eiffel Tower

Discovering something that doesn’t exist (Hey! )
Or giving a monkey a shower

Surfing tidal waves
Creating nanobots
Or locating Frankenstein’s brain (It’s over here! )

Finding a dodo bird
Painting a continent
Or driving your sister insane (Phineas! )

As you can see
There’s a whole lot of stuff to do
Before school starts this fall (Come on Perry)

So stick with us ’cause Phineas and Ferb
Are gonna do it all
So stick with us ’cause Phineas and Ferb are
Gonna do it all!
(Mom! Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence! )”

Andrea

May 27th, 2010
5:56 pm

@Uconn: Thanks – I had decided we would go ahead with it.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 27th, 2010
6:02 pm

love phineas and ferb — whole lot of exploring to do just on their own!

iRun

May 27th, 2010
6:03 pm

YUKI – myself, I went to private school. But my crazy-scientist husband and “I’m-going-to-play-for-the-Saints-and-be-a-scientist-who-invents-Iron-Man” son both went/go to government school. A really good one, too, for my son. One where the PTA bought Promethean boards for every classroom.

But my husband, he went to a REALLY bad government school. AND, he didn’t have a dad. AND, he grew up really, really, really poor. Still, he grew up to be a mad-scientist who operates on Frankenmice, to the benefit of people with peripheral nerve injury everywhere. BWAHAHAHAHAHAAA!

Thing is, I get a little sick and tired of the rote talking points. No system’s perfect. You make the best of whatever options before you and you will be okay.

Besides, David S is talking out his bellybutton. He wasn’t home schooled. Not if he’s old enough to have children of his own. Because back when us parents were kids, nobody was homeschooled. Except for 7 people in Minnesota. And they lived on a compound and married each other. If David S WAS homeschooled, then he’s probably only about 18.

:P

XD

iRun

May 27th, 2010
6:05 pm

Define: hyperbole

irisheyes

May 27th, 2010
6:43 pm

No offense, Theresa, but here’s where your middle class life gets in your way. At my school, there will be a huge “brain drain” because very few of our students will receive any “educational” activities over the summer. I just hope that all of them are fed on a regular basis, but considering the way the year ended with some of our students and the neglect that occurred, I doubt that. You would be amazed (and heart-broken) at some of the stories that come out of the schools right here in GCPS.

motherjanegoose

May 27th, 2010
6:59 pm

@ catlady: You and I and perhaps a handful of others on this blog understand that children who do receive free lunch quite possibly live with parents who waste more money in other ways, than the lunch itself would cost.

My husband tells me that he was on FREE lunch. His Dad wrote hot checks to buy liquor at the liquor store. They gladly took his checks because they knew they would get the other $20 for the hot checks. Yes, he also smoked. I was told this after I read him your comment. Back then lunch was probably less than $1 per day. He had 4 kids…that would be $4 per day times 5….hmm…I know you can see the math!

I think I have been involved in education way too long to have a naive perspective on the way things should and could work. I have commented on the free lunch injustice often before but some do not it. I just have to realize that there are some who cannot be convinced, just as I cannot be convinced that all of those who apply for aid really do need/deserve it.

I am all about helping those who are willing, at some point, to help themselves.

@catlady, are you near MOG Gwinnett? I am seriously thinking you need to be on my short list for lunch.
Do not be afraid: ask Michelle, DB, Kathy and Newmom ( what happened to her?), they will tell you that I can be kind of fun….;). I would love to meet you in July….no cats…I am allergic.

penguinmom

May 27th, 2010
7:26 pm

I think being scared about brain drain is silly. Yes, we need to keep our kids minds involved, but that doesn’t mean doing rote worksheets. That means living life, having discussions, playing something besides video games and doing other active things. I do agree that lower income kids or those kids with disengaged parents are more likely to lose information over the summer. I think having parents who aren’t supporting your education causes kids to pay less attention and to not actually learn the information as thoroughly as someone with really involved parents. This is going to cause more loss of info over the summer. The parents who really need to think about brain drain are the same parents who would never read the article in the first place.

I do think that if you child has a subject this is typically a problem area, summer is a good time to spend a small amount of time shoring up that skill. Once a week for 30 minutes doing some writing or doing some math is not going to kill the child’s vacation and may help save them stress next school year.

Since we homeschool, my kids will do some school this summer. We take breaks at other times throughout the year so we keep up on a few subjects in the summer. School in the summer is always more relaxed with fewer deadlines with lots of breaks.
(btw, I don’t advocate homeschooling for everyone and I don’t look down on anyone who sends their kids to public school.)

iRun

May 27th, 2010
7:50 pm

psst, penguinmom, don’t tell David S, but I think homeschooling is great if it’s for you and your family and you get the opportunity to do it. I just didn’t want you to think my tongue-stick was at homeschooling…it was at David S for being a jerk. ;)

penguinmom

May 27th, 2010
8:18 pm

@iRun – good to know. Unfortunately, as with any group, it only takes a few vocal, opinionated members to give the whole group a bad name that is almost impossible to shake.

BlondeHoney

May 27th, 2010
10:32 pm

@DavidS, you are sooo ignorant and closed minded. Intelligent people don’t generalize like you do. I could never EVER have given my son the level of education that you so sneeringly call “government schools” gave him. He graduated 50th in his class of over 500 with an IB diploma,, has his degree in chemical engineering from FSU and is an Ensign in the US Navy on his way to being an nuclear engineer. Gee the homeschoolers I know go to the mall during school time & don’t even have the discipline to turn in assignments on time. It’s all up to the parents and how much they invest in their children’s education. My goverment educated child runs circles around your homeschooled child child every time.

1sus

May 28th, 2010
6:34 am

There is a lot of pressure from schools as well. My daughter has a math packet that must be completed and turned in at the start of school as well as required summer reading. One book of which they are required to complete questions about it and turn that in the first week..

SouthFultonMom

May 28th, 2010
7:54 am

As a kid my mom used to go to Kmart and buy workbooks for us over the summer months. We also participated in the library’s reading club.

My kids will have a pretty well-rounded summer. They will each go to tutoring once a week for their weaker subjects; one struggles in math the other in language arts. They wil also attend camp, take a family vacation and do other fun things with friends. But…they will also have to read at least one book of their choosing. For my students, I’m with @irisheyes. If my kids are fed regularly and don’t experience abuse I will be happy.

motherjanegoose

May 28th, 2010
8:01 am

My child has gone to public school since Kinder. She graduated from HS on W. Her 5th grade teacher posted a CONGRATULATIONS message on Facebook yesterday, to her classmates from her High School. There were dozens of wonderful pictures, that he has saved through the years
( that was 7 years ago) .

My children have both been blessed to know wonderful teachers who made strong investments in their lives and challenged them to learn. My son pointed out a few he knew, at his sister’s graduation For that, I am thankful. Hats off too you Mr. Segool and to all the other wonderful teachers who have made an impact on my children throughout the years!

Michelle

May 28th, 2010
10:11 am

I think it falls back onto the parents to make sure the kids “learn” over the summer. It is a little time consuming for us? Yes, but totally worth it! There are a lot of parents who work at least 1 job full time, and some more. They STILL manage to make some quality time for their children!

I have a little guy who LOVES to know things! So, some of the “fun” stuff like musueums, etc. are actually a lot of work for me! He doesn’t take too many things at face value and I hear the words of why, how, and then what happens frequently (sometimes to the point where I want to stuff my ears with cotton!) :o)

For example: How do you get chicken pox? Well, after the explanation of how it is transmitted and that he “likely” would not get it because he was vaccinated, he insisted on knowing HOW he couldn’t get it! This led into a VERY long discussion that involved how antibodies are formed and what an antibody is (way too long of a conversation for today!)

Or, here is a recent one: Why is the root on the popcorn seed turning red? If anyone wants to save me some research time, I’d be very appreciative! LOL!

This summer we will play math games, read books and explore some of his questions on the internet for answers (because even though he thinks that I do, I do NOT know everything!) LOL!

I think the kids that “lose” their education over the summer, have very little interest in learning to begin with!

Ole Guy

June 5th, 2010
8:55 pm

Let’s examine the broader issues. At last reports, Georgia, and the U.S. at large, were experiencing embarrasing percentages of drop-outs. Is this due to the “summer brain drain”? I rather think not. Let’s not go searching for reasons…for causes…of this Country’s poor standing in producing an educated constiuency. WE ALREADY KNOW THE REASONS, and they have absolutely nothing to do with “summer brain drain”.

The NCLB only exacerbated a condition, within education, which has been with us for a long long time. NCLB only “officialized” that which has been the excuse for lousy performance…”IT’S SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT…NOT MINE”! The day when both schools and parents are, once again, allowed to build fires of motivation under their darlings’ sixes will be the day when not even a “summer brain drain” will stop kids from excelling.

India ladies

July 17th, 2010
5:43 pm

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teen brunette girls

July 28th, 2010
4:55 am

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