Lessening the Summer Brain Drain

I am a proud member of the Collective Bias (TM) Social Fabric Community (TM). This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. All pictures and opinions are my own, as viewed through the lens of an educator and parent of three.

The summer brain drain is most easily explained as the amount of information & fundamental skills lost during summer vacation for school aged children. I see the summer brain drain from two perspectives: as a parent of three school aged children & as an elementary school educator.

As a parent I think the summer is a time to relax, re-bond with your child and create Norman Rockwellian memories. However the problem is in Norman Rockwell’s time there was no Internet. My kids are very physically active to begin with, swimming, day camps, cottaging & kayaking are the normal daily activities. I have to admit I tend to forget about making sure the have an active brain as well. It takes until about the third week of summer (aka right now) when we start back in our slightly modified homework routine. Slightly modified meaning we take advantage of time spent in cars, waiting on pool decks and screen free days at the cottage.

This is the first book I read to all my my children. 

As a teacher I start our summer reading adventures at the source, that source would be my children. KT  aged 9, likes to read series of books, like Lemony Snicket or Diary of a Wimpy Kid sets. AndiePandie age 7,  likes to read Magic Tree House books or any non fiction animal books. Beckett age 4, in JK, likes stories read to him about trucks, Lego characters and Diego. I can be honest my children are reluctant readers. On more then on report card it was noted that my children should read more in the summer to help assist with the next year’s curriculum.

We began by looking at their report cards and determining where they needed the most help. As French Immersion students, we decided we would buy books in both official languages. Finding the reading levels of my children’s PM & GB+ books are as easy as flipping over the book to the back cover. Most books we have found in the Kid’s Section in Chapters have the same system of levelling. Now to be clear there are many different ways to assess reading levels. Most books for example have a levelled rating such as this: RL 3.5, meaning this book is for a student in Grade 3, who is probably in the midway point of the year. Now again this is very general levelling but a handy guide while at the store.

We started our shopping adventure at Cora’s, we love the fresh fruit options & the decorative food designs the chef’s create.

Upon arrival at the store the first thing my 4 year old son noticed was the comic book/graphic novel rack. 
Whereas my daughters Katie aged 9 and AndiePandie aged 7, knew exactly where to find the information they wanted on their favourite books. 
This stunning journal caught my eye as soon as I walked past this neatly organized display.  
I have found with most things in parenting, if you try and force something onto your children they will rebel against the idea. In the case of  summer brain drain, I think one of the most important ways to combat this summer time issue is to allow choice. Let the child explore the reading environment and pick their own literary path. The only time I would intervene would be if the reading level was significantly about their reading level. 
In the end, one of the biggest reasons my kids read is because of the examples set before them. My niece is a avid reader, writer and story teller. My children see that and follow her example. Yes, not only is my MaddieMooWho stunning she is also an excellent scholastic example for my children. 
This was our quiet drive home, after we made our purchases. 

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