Prevent Brain Drain: Keep Your Kids Minds Sharp During Vacation

By Ellyn Linton

 

As the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it.  This rings true for our students at Horizon Academy where teachers anticipate various levels of regression over winter and summer breaks. According to research from Johns Hopkins University, students who experience ‘brain drain’ over the course of summer break lose 2 to 2 ½ months of math computation skills.  For students with decoding challenges, they can lose as much as 3 months in reading skills. Winter break is no exception to this concept, but you certainly don’t have to have your child spend each night hunched over a book.

 

There are so many great ways to avoid brain drain that are actually enjoyable for your kids!

  • Read holiday books.
  • Complete crosswords by the fire.  
  • Have your student calculate the tip if you go out to eat.
  • Have them make a budget for a big family meal.

 

Technology that enables learning is right at our fingertips!  Play with some of these apps to see which one your child likes the best.

Math(In order from beginner to challenging.):

Quick Math Jr.Brush up numeracy skills and basic computation.

NRICH- Engage in fun math problems.

Numbers League- Become a superhero that uses math to save the city!  Play alone or against friends!

Math Shack- Relate to common core math and track your progress (middle and high school)

Brilliant- Advanced learners in physics and math will enjoy this app!

 

Reading:

The Joy of Reading- Practice phonemic awareness skills.

Studycat- Be entertained with these awesome reading games!

Mindsnacks- Brush up on your vocabulary and writing skills.

SAT Word Slam- Advanced vocab skills (teens).

Yalsa- Young Adult Library Series.

 

Regardless of how you want to incorporate learning into the break, it’s important that your child’s brain stays engaged when they aren’t in school.  Your child will appreciate the support from you when they return! Have a great holiday!