Summer is here. Across the Emirates children are having fun, splashing in their pools and parents are working hard to prevent summer brain drain. Without continuous learning during the summer months, parents must actively strive to offset the constant screen time and lack of educational activities.
What is Brain Drain?
There is an old saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” This is particularly true for school aged children. Learning loss during summer vacation also referred to as brain drain, is a common problem. Parents, teachers, and researchers have all found that children suffer a setback in their math, science, reading comprehension and fluency following their long summer break.
Read, Read, Read!
If your child is developing their basic reading skills, including decoding and phonics, be sure to provide opportunities to read out loud and silently. You can generate excitement about reading by helping your child develop a summer reading list. Encourage them to create a chart to track their progress throughout the summer. You can even ask their teacher or a local librarian for recommendations to help get a leg up on the year ahead.
If your child struggles with reading, take turns reading a story to each other. If your child is unable to read, read out loud to them. Talk about the story as you are reading it. Ask your child questions, so they are not only reading but understanding what they have read. What might happen next in the plot? Who is their favorite character? How does your child feel about what they have read so far? Keep them engaged so that they comprehend what they are reading.
Take Music Lessons
Research indicates that actively playing a musical instrument has positive effects on the brain. For centuries, families have gathered to play music together. Regardless of whether you play or not, you’ll have fun together as a family and you’ll stimulate your child’s brain development. If you don’t feel comfortable playing an instrument, sign your child up for music lessons during the summer holiday. This will keep their brain active while simultaneously learning a creative skill.
Encourage a Growth Mindset
Regardless of your child’s aptitude or ability, the right attitude is key to fostering the risk-taking behavior and perseverance essential to learning and cultivating a growth mindset. Research shows that children who believe in their ability to learn are more likely to step up to challenging learning experiences. On the other hand, children who believe their ability to learn is fixed and unchanging are more likely to balk at challenges. Strive to cultivate an environment that encourages learning and growth.
Explain to your older children how the brain develops new neural connections in response to challenging learning experiences. Provide them with challenges and support, praising their efforts and progress rather than their intelligence and aptitude. Be a role model, taking on the challenges of learning for yourself, such as a new language.
Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s capacity to physically change and rewire itself. It’s something our brains can do at any age. Research shows that focused mental exercise enables millions of additional connections to develop between brain cells. Brain training engages the brain in exercises which promote rapid growth, leading to significantly more effective learning, performance, and retention.
Promote Learning a Second Language
If you have a young child, learning a second language may be an ideal way to keep their brain sharp during the summer months. Once your child turns six, their brains become much less receptive to foreign languages. While we can learn a second language at any age, the ideal window for learning a new language is early, so the sooner you start, the better.
Exercise the Learning Muscles
Children need to exercise their learning muscles. Brain training workshops are designed to stop brain drain before it starts, sharpening the core skills used to think, learn, read, reason and pay attention. Unlike tutoring, the Brain Workshop Brain Training Course stimulates learning muscles to process and use incoming information. Through a combination of innovative and unique educational tools and digital technologies, our brain training sharpens learning skills and promotes the growth of neurons.
Above all else, don’t forget to make summer learning fun. After all, it is summer vacation! At the end of the day, your children need time to relax and simply enjoy their summer holiday. Neither parents nor their kids have to surrender their entire summer to learning. Be sure to balance learning with fun activities: go to the beach, the pool or the park. This way your children can still enjoy their summer while still staying mentally limber for the return of school in the fall.
Interested in helping your kids prevent brain drain this summer? Contact the professionals at the Brain Workshop to unlock their learning potential!