Wondering how you can prevent summer brain drain? Here is a list of 10 activities your kids can do this summer.
Now that school is out and the summer is upon us, I want to ensure my 13-year-old son doesn’t just veg on the couch playing video games all summer long. It’s important to keep reading and learning throughout the summer so you don’t lose those skills that you worked on during the school year.
He’s in pre-AP classes, so I know that I can at least count on him reading the assigned summer book and completing the summer reading project that must be turned in during the first week of school.
Summer brain drain (or the summer slide, as educators like to call it) is the learning loss that takes place for many students during summer months. It’s particularly hard on math and reading skills.
How to Prevent Summer Brain Drain
1. Keep lots of books around and make regular trips to the library.
2. Think about what your kids may be learning next school year when you plan the family vacation. Incorporate as many upcoming concepts as possible.
3. Keep math in mind and try to do some special planning to find math-related activities.
4. Consider summer school or tutoring.
5. Participate in educational programs offered in your area over the summer.
6. Allow your kids to be bored at times to uncover their interests, look at ways to see what sparks their interest, and personalize their learning.
9. Take advantage of the platforms and media they are already using on a day to day basis for additional educational opportunities.
10. Let kids explore outdoors: grow their own veggies, capture bugs, keep a summer nature journal, or complete yard projects.
I’m excited to announce that I will serve as a brand ambassador for TeenSafe, the popular parenting smartphone monitoring service. Each month, I will be bringing parents a fresh round of tips to make managing our new lives as parents of teens easier. You can find all of my TeenSafe posts here.
In the first post in this series, we will explore Inside Your Child’s Growing Brain to understand how summer brain drain happens.
How do you parent a brain that’s growing and changing all the time?
- Don’t expect too much.
- Make a deal to reward the good.
- Talk with them, not at them.
- Exercise their minds (and 60 minutes of physical activity).
INSIDE YOUR CHILD’S GROWING BRAIN
The Preteen Years (10-12)
At this point, the majority of changes in the brain serve to develop the frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for:
- reasoning skills
- abstract thinking
- emotional maturity
- impulse control
This means that until they are developed, your child is sometimes biologically incapable of “making good choices.”
As your child gains life experience, a process called pruning allows the connections used most often to become stronger and more complex.
This is also the time when your child is most vulnerable to physical injuries.
Adolescence (Age 13-18)
Throughout the teen years, the frontal cortex, pituitary gland (puberty and sexual maturation), hippocampus (short-term memories become long-term memories), and prefrontal cortex (reading emotion, moderating social behavior, and making decisions) are changing.
This makes judgment and interpersonal interactions difficult.
This information and the infographic shown below was provided by TeenSafe.
TeenSafe is a monitoring service that allows parents to monitor their child’s iPhone or Android smartphone as well as view activity on Instagram, WhatsApp and Kik Messenger. When you sign into TeenSafe, your teen’s smartphone data will be available for you to view. TeenSafe offers complete security. Only you can access your child’s data.
- View Texts – View sent, received and deleted SMS and iMessages.
- View Calls – View call logs of incoming and outgoing calls including contact name, number, date and duration.
- See Phone Location – See your teen’s current smartphone location on a map as well a history of the phone’s location.
- View Instagram – View Instagram posts, comments, and followers.
- View Installed Apps – View a list of all third-party applications installed on your child’s phone.**
- Whatsapp – View Sent and Received Whatsapp messages*
- Kik – View Sent and Received Kik Messenger texts*
- Internet – See web search history. See web browsing history
- View contacts
*iPhone only. **Android only.
I have been a TeenSafe user for about four months. I enjoy being able to monitor my son’s cell phone (or tablet) use. I can remotely access his usage, history, and habits. It’s allowed us to have frank conversations about appropriate internet behavior, responsible phone use, and a sense of security. He knows the app is installed on his devices and that he is being held accountable to us for his actions. With privilege comes responsibility.
This post was sponsored by TeenSafe.