How to Prevent Summer Brain Drain

A List of Ways to Stop Summer Brain Drain

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What is summer brain drain? Once school is out for the summer children tend to "check out" and spend the summer months vacationing, swimming and having fun. This two month break from learning known as "summer brain" or "summer slide" can have a profound effect on students learning. To prevent this loss, parents and teachers can provide children with summer enrichment activities that will keep children engaged all summer long.

(Print this resource list and give to parents)

 Enroll in a Summer Program

Here are a few creative ways to help children retain their education skills and have an enjoyable learning-filled summer.

Summer School

Most school districts offer summer enrichment programs to the children in their district. Find out what classes your district is offering and enroll your child.

Summer Camp

There are many variations of summer camps you can choose from: music, writing, healthy eating, sports camp etc. Any of these will keep children active both physically and mentally.

Library Programs

Public libraries often provide summer reading programs and fun activities for children. This is a great way to encourage reading throughout the summer.

Join the YMCA

The YMCA is a great organization to enroll children in during the summer because they provide a variety of fun activities that connect children of all ages and backgrounds.

Get Out and Go

A great way to keep children's minds learning is to get out of the house and get active. Try going to all the places on the list below:

  • A local museum
  • Zoo
  • National Park
  • Baseball game
  • Tour of a factory
  • Go camping
  • Eat at a restaurant
  • Farm
  • Hike
  • Cherry/Apple Picking

Any of these places can turn into a learning experience.

If you go out to eat, ask the children to figure out the tip. If you go apple picking have the children count, sort and practice their math skills. When camping, discuss nature, and when at the zoo, teach children about animal life. Whichever place you choose to go, there is always the opportunity to learn something new.

Provide Enrichment Activities

These five summer enrichment program ideas are sure to be a hit with your elementary students.

Make Your Own Game

A fun way to get your child's creativity flowing is to create a homemade board game. First brainstorm ideas that would make for a fun game, then gather supplies to create the game. Use items such as cardboard for the game board, art supplies to make it look nice, and erasers for the game pieces.

Keep a Summer Journal

Encourage children to express their thoughts and feelings throughout summer by providing them with a summer journal. Let them be creative and capture their memories by using a camera to document their daily experiences, and then writing about it in their notebooks. By the end of the summer they will have a tangible keepsake that they can have forever.

Start a Summer Book Club

Gather a few of your child's closest friends and start a summer book club.

Every week each child takes turns choosing a book for the group to read and at the end of the week they come together to discuss it. To expand upon their learning experiences, provide a related activity or field trip that is relevant to the book.

Cook Together

A fun and tasty way to brush up on math skills is to teach your children how to cook. The kitchen is the perfect place for children to learn math concepts such as measurement, fractions and addition.

Go Online

While the consensus is usually get off the computer and go play outside, this doesn't actually have to be the case. There are numerous websites out there that encourage learning. By allowing your child thirty minutes of "learning time" on an educational site you can provide them with the practice they need to keep their brains learning throughout summer.