Help Your Kids Avoid Summer "Brain Drain" With Summer Programs, Opportunities to Explore
By Jessa McClure
When the school bell rings on the last day of the spring semester, children all over the country will be heading home to relax, indulge in summer activities, and forget about learning for two-and-a-half-months. While children need a break from the rigors of a demanding academic year, putting learning on the back burner completely can be detrimental to their future.
In fact, many students lose the equivalent of two months of mathematical computation skills over the summer months, according to the National Summer Learning Association.
Mrs. Angela Adcock, a third grade teacher for McGregor ISD, has seen this "brain drain" first hand.
"I have definitely noticed it in the younger grades," Adcock said. "They normally pick it back up within the first couple of weeks, but 10 to 20 days of re-teaching tends to slow down getting the new year started."
The veteran teacher, who has been instructing students for more than 20 years said that knowledge falls under the "use it or lose it" category.
"If you are just starting to read well at the end of the year, and then take two months off never looking at print, then reading will suffer," she said.
But "brain drain" doesn't have to occur. Adcock suggests reading to your children on a daily basis and having them read to you. Public libraries even offer free summer reading programs with incentives for young readers.
Here is a list of some local libraries who offer this type of reading program:
West Waco Library & Genealogy Center
Program offers goodie bags for completing reading log
Child, teen and adult programs available
Sign up for program is June 2
Central Library - Waco
Summer reading program for children, tweens and teens
Sign up on June 2
Summer reading program for children, teens and adults
Sign up on June 4
Along with incentives for reading logs, children will also be entertained by performers and presenters in the "Fizz, Boom, Read!" program
Program begins June 16; sign up June 9-14
Along with incentives for reading logs, children will also be entertained by performers and presenters including a magician
Program begins in June; sign up May 27
Children "read for rewards" - submitting their reading log each week will result in a prize
Teen Reading Club
Teens that read 15+ hours earn an invitation to the End of Reading Club party
While summer reading programs are a great way to encourage reading, the experienced teacher said children also need time over their break to explore and discover new things.
"I think we need to let kids be kids," Adcock said. "I think it is important to not spend the whole summer sleeping and watching TV. A little bit of learning, discovering and play should help the students be ready for the school year."
There are many learning opportunities for children that offer a more hands-on experience. Click here for a list of camps in central Texas.
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