Keeping the kids entertained throughout the entire summer break is no easy task. Often the boredom sets in way before you expect it to, and after just a few days, you may start to run out of ideas to keep them busy. If you are struggling to keep the kids occupied and are treading a fine line between screentime and letting them run wild, you are probably in desperate need of some activity inspiration. Keeping the kids active over the summer break is often a lot harder than it sounds.Read more
“Mom, I’m bored!” “Mom, the Wi-Fi isn’t working!!” (This legit just happened to us the other day, modem and router died at the same time and it was practically the end of the world as we knew it, lol!) “Mom is it cool if we surf down the stair on sleeping bags?” For those moments during Summer Break when you need to bust their boredom, when the Wi-Fi goes out, or when their imaginations highjack all common sense, busy bags to the rescue! So, what exactly are Busy Bags?
It is officially day 1 of summer break! Bring on the long days at the pool, meeting up with friends at the park, roasting marshmallows & making s’mores, catching fireflies, watching fireworks, lazy days at the lake, and so much more. Eeee!! Parents we have the POWER to make it a SUPER FUN summer!! But let’s be honest, WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. It is important that parents take the necessary precautions so that their children don’t fall prey to VILLIANS such as ticks, sunburns, dehydrations, and brain drain!!
Did you know…
The statistics on summer “brain drain” are grim. According to Dr. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri- Columbia, students returning to school after a lengthy summer break will have lost one to three months’ worth of learning. Studies show that on average, teachers end up spending four to six weeks re-teaching things their students learned during the previous school year. That means that if students come back to school on August 1, they will spend all their time until September, at the earliest, reviewing. They might be reviewing until Halloween comes around.
Don’t let your child fall into the hands of the evil VILLIAN, brain drain. Be their SUPERHERO; DEFEND them against brain drain by signing them up for the SUMMER READING CHALLENGE today!
Books to the RESCUE!! But that’s not all! This year’s Summer Reading Program is the best one yet! It will have your little one contemplating awesome SUPERHERO POWERS, writing a note to their favorite SUPERHERO, reading aloud with a friend; allow their imaginations to soar and loss track of both time & space in a book, and so much more! Click here to learn more about the Kids Program.
This year’s program comes with an awesome activity book filled with coloring options, crossword, word search, etc. perfect boredom buster!!
The Library also has fun FREE activities going on throughout the summer that coincide with this year’s Summer reading program theme….click here for summer events guide.
And I almost forgot the best part, PRIZES!! Your SUPERHERO will win prizes with each challenge they complete!! Including, Chipotle coupon, finger puppet, pick from the treasure box, stickers, etc.
GRAND Prizes…once your SUPERHERO completes Challenges 1-4 they are entered in the grand prize giveaway to win one of the following….
An iPad Air or Kindle Fire HDX
A 4-pack of tickets or a membership to The Toledo Zoo or Imagination Station
A $30 gift card for Barnes & Noble, Toys R Us or the Toledo Mud Hens
*Scouts can earn a badge if they complete challenges 1-4
The best part, the SUMMER READING CHALLENGE is open to Teens & Adults too!! And yes, you could also win prizes!!
So what are you waiting for? Use your SUPERHERO POWERS and ZOOM on over to your local library & accept the CHALLENGE TODAY!!!
Okay moms, I know it is difficult to believe but the school year is almost over. I know I for one am so excited to get my little soon-to-be first grader home for the summer. I can’t wait to enjoy the long lazy days of summer with all 3 of my kiddos. But I am also very concerned. Our 6-year-old has learned so much this year, making leaps and bounds in both reading and computation skills. I am afraid that a nearly 3 month vacation from academic rhythm of instruction might have her sliding backwards come the start of school in the fall. Reading the following article confirmed and compiled my concerns.
RESEARCH ON SUMMER LEARNING LOSS
A research synthesis conducted by Cooper et al. (1996) integrated 39 studies examining the effects of summer vacation on standardized achievement test scores. The 39 studies included 13 that could be included in a meta-analysis (a statistical integration) of the results. The meta-analysis indicated that summer learning loss equaled at least one month of instruction as measured by grade level equivalents on standardized test scores-on average, children’s tests scores were at least one month lower when they returned to school in fall than scores were when students left in spring.
The meta-analysis also found differences in the effect of summer vacation on different skill areas. Summer loss was more pronounced for math facts and spelling than for other tested skill areas. The explanation of this result was based on the observation that both math computation and spelling skills involve the acquisition of factual and procedural knowledge, whereas other skill areas, especially math concepts, problem solving, and reading comprehension, are conceptually based. Findings in cognitive psychology suggest that without practice, facts and procedural skills are most susceptible to forgetting (e.g., Cooper & Sweller, 1987). Summer loss was more pronounced for math overall than for reading overall. The authors speculated that children’s home environments might provide more opportunities to practice reading skills than to practice mathematics. Parents may be more attuned to the importance of reading, so they pay attention to keeping their children reading over summer.
My plan for combating Summer Brain Drain is to first enroll all 3 of our kiddos in the Summer Reading Program at our local library. As the article addressed, our home environment fosters reading. The children enjoy listening to books on tape and CD, having mommy or daddy read to them, and then lastly, having our little reader read to the entire family. We then keep track of the books we read and go to the library to report what was read for that week and receive a prize. It is a wonderful way to encourage children to read.
So, that leaves Math!! What to do over the summer to encourage and continue our daughters interest in Math? The solution, DreamBox, it helps children become proficient, mathematical thinker with the right learning environment. DreamBox unique intelligent adaptive learning technology goes beyond engagement, with a rigorous math curriculum that builds conceptual understanding and fluency. What I really like is that DreamBox offers interactive math games for first graders. The clip below does a wonderful job of expressing how DreamBox makes math fun, in fact it is so much fun they have no idea that they are actually learning (shh…we’ll just keep that between us parents).
Phew, I can sleep better now knowing that I am prepared to combat the Summer Brain Drain. How about you, are you prepared to combat the Summer Brain Drain?