Combat Summer Brain Drain!

According to a study by Dr. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, kids lose one to three months of learning over the summer. The biggest loss was in the subject of math, followed by reading skills.

Tips for reducing brain drain:

1. Read at bedtime. As you think about the story by predicting what’s going to happen next or explaining a character’s motivation.

2. Ask your child to practice a little bit of math everyday, whether it’s counting change at the grocery store, dividing popsicles between friends, or subtracting the days left of summer vacation!

3. Use art to reinforce math skills. On those slow summer afternoons, ask your child to write a story or draw a picture about numbers. Young children can draw pictures of numbers doing things that relate to numbers (The number two can be drawn with two imaginary or favorite animals). Older children can draw a graphic novel explaining how mathematicians found the circumference of a circle (the true or imaginary tale!)

4. Ask your kids to help you do your own math! If you are going on vacation and keeping a budget, put your kids in charge of making sure the family does not go over budget by doing the math. When driving to a new location, have your kids keep track of the distance as you travel and report back how far your family has gone!

5. Practice daily, but in small increments. Instead of signing your children up for a math class, ask them to finish one math problem or worksheet every day. Treats for correct answers, like a scoop of ice cream or an extra 50 cents added to their allowance, can be used as an incentive to keep math on their minds.

Keep those math skills sharp with World Book’s Incentive Publications Use it! Don’t Lose it! This series provides fun math and language arts activities to keep young minds sharp and ready for the next school year.


Related links:

The study by Dr. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. http://rer.sagepub.com/content/66/3/227.short


Use it! Don't lose it!


This daily practice series helps students develop and retain their language and math skills. Each title challenges students with five problems a day, every day, for 36 weeks. The practice activities are set up in a spiraling scope and sequence so that students practice skills at regular intervals. Each week's problems are based on a grade-level-appropriate topic so each time a skill is presented, it has a new context, requiring students to recall what they know and apply it to a new situation.


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