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.
“…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?