It’s the same every summer — the last bell of the year rings, and that backpack full of books is slung in a corner to collect dust until September. After that, it’s nothing but long days by the pool, family barbecues, and gossip-filled sleepovers. This all seems great until the first day of school rolls around, and it soon turns out that all the painstaking lessons of last year have evaporated into thin air. English vocab, science terminology, math equations — all lost to the famous “summer brain drain” phenomenon. This phenomenon is particularly frustrating for kids with low self-esteem or learning difficulties, who are quick to assume that it’s their own fault they can’t remember the things they learned. Fortunately, preventing summer brain drain is surprisingly easy, and it doesn’t have to involve paying a hefty summer camp bill. Here, will look at how EdTech toys can be used in combination with other basic, yet effective, learning methods to help prepare kids for a successful scholastic year.
So How Serious Is Summer Learning Loss?
Summer learning loss isn’t just a matter of forgetting a few facts. In fact, it can have a serious effect on scholastic outcomes. Not only do kids who experience learning loss fall behind at the beginning of the year, but many fail to catch up with their peers — resulting in a shocking two-year average learning gap by the end of grade 6. Further statistics show:
- 2.6 months of math skills are lost over the summer
- The equivalent of one month of overall learning is lost after summer vacation
- Six weeks in the fall are spent relearning old material to make up for summer learning loss
- Two months of reading skills are lost over the summer
- As early as grade 1 summer learning loss can be recognized
- By the end of grade 6 students who have experienced summer learning loss over the years are an average of two years behind their peers
- Two thirds of the income-based achievement gap is attributed to summer learning loss by the start of high school
- It can take up to two months from the first day of school for student brain development to get back on track
How Can EdTech Toys Help?
For most parents, summer learning loss isn’t a result of lack of trying. Kids just don’t want to learn during the summer, and their attention spans shrink to an all-time low as they think of all the things they would much rather be doing. That’s where EdTech toys come in. Gadgets like the CogniToys Dino, for example, integrate learning and play, making kids think that they’re just playing games with their cool new toy, when really they’re discovering all kinds of new facts chosen just for their age and learning level. This process also helps kids to develop a subconscious connection between the concept of learning new things and having fun — a connection that can help no end when the school year once again begins.
What Else Should I Be Doing to Achieve Learning Goals?
As well as making learning fun through EdTech toys and other educational games, try to encourage regular summer reading. Summer reading doesn’t have to be strictly educational. In fact, fictional books can be just as advantageous as factual ones, teaching kids new words and improving their comprehension skills while helping them to develop a healthy love of reading. If you’re having difficulty getting your little learners interested in books, try adding an extra facet of fun to the process by joining a children’s book of the month club. Little Fun Club, for example, ships three age-appropriate books right to your door every month, each one selected to inspire kids’ imaginations and promote academic fulfillment. Your kids will love opening up each surprise package, and the fun of discovering what’s new this month might just give them the reading kickstart you’ve been hoping for.
Do you have a favorite method of kicking summer learning loss to the curb, but don’t see it mentioned here? Let us know! You can send as an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply leave a comment in the section below.