While the typical family is enjoying a casual summer schedule, research shows that the typical student brain is also taking a summer break and forgetting up to 40% of the information learned during the school year. Worse yet, can take up to 6 weeks to get back into the swing of learning once a student returns to school. In the average school year, that can add up to almost 50% learning loss overall, an overwhelming statistic in a make-it-or-break-it educational environment. The good news, however, is that while it’s easy to forget – it’s just as simple to put a plug in the drain and keep that brain active, engaged and learning while still having fun through the summer break.
Summer is a great time of year — the sun shines, days get longer and our schedules loosen. This makes it the perfect time to have a little fun and a lot of R & R, but how much of your family’s downtime is being spent in front of the TV or the Xbox? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite activities for your kids and your family to do this summer…
As parents, we can look forward to summer as a time with lighter schedules, less structure and no homework. Let’s face it — we all need a break, and the warm, carefree days of summer give us the perfect opportunity. However, too many lazy days can lead to boredom, resulting in the well-worn phrase “I’m bored.” Today’s kids have so much technology at their fingertips — TV, movies, video games, the internet — that it can take some special effort to get them engaged in a wider variety of activities.
Summer is a great time to get children involved in outdoor activities. When our children were young, our favorite family vacations were spent in northern Wisconsin. Each summer, we gathered our own four kids and a group of carefully chosen friends and headed north to play. Our plans included swimming, hiking, boating, fishing, game playing, bonfires — just about any kind of unstructured family fun. When we started the Wisconsin cabin tradition, our first cabins were pretty rustic, with few perks beyond running water. Over the years, the cabins have included a few more luxuries. I was determined to keep the focus on interactive play, so the first thing I did when we arrived was unplug the television and bury it in a closet. Initially, the kids were confused, but quickly caught on and took great pride in their ability to go without.