Last summer Ava experienced some major brain drain during summer. She is an excellent reader, yet reading is about the last thing she wants to do in the world. We let reading slide last summer and it was amazing to find out that when she started 2nd grade last year her reading, which was a grade level ahead, had digressed. This summer Chris and I were determined to avoid the summer brain drain by doing the following:
1. For reading inspiration and motivation, my mom started a two person book club with Ava reading the first Harry Potter in the series. They read a few chapters individually and then discuss it. It is an awesome way to get Ava to be interested int the book she is reading. There are also some great reading clubs at local libraries this summer that are free: http://www.engagedpatrons.org/EventsCalendar.cfm?SiteID=7839.
2. Ava is working on some great iPad/Ipod Touch apps: Khan Academy (better played on the computer than an i-device, for now), Starfall, Raz Kids and the Tocaboca. Tocaboca is a fun/educational kids game for kids to play with their parents. This app was recently featured at the Apple developer conference.
3. We bought a Summer Bridge Activity book that will keep her brain working during the two months Ava is out of school. Ava is required to do two pages each day: http://www.summerbridgeactivities.org/.
There is also this website that has all kinds of education activities for the summer:
The Domestics are having a difficult time relating to the summer brain drain “problem” that we as parents face these days. They say they never even thought about that for their kids during summertime. I am sure that my parents never thought about the brain drain concept either, based on the fact that I don’t remember doing anything other than go to Gold Ridge Swim Club and swim 8 hours a day every day of the summer.
I maintain that this need to prevent the brain drain comes from a our current cultures’ intense competition. As parents in the 2000s, we want our kids to be the best in school, sports, and all extracurricular activities. Our colleges are more competitive than ever and once you get in to a college it is fiercely competitive to get classes.
So in 11 years from now, expect to see Ava at Harvard on a sports and academic scholarship, all because her mom and dad prevented brain drain during the summers. If only it were that easy.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.