Prevent Brain Drain This Summer


By Alyssa Musolf

Summertime is the ideal opportunity for your child to recharge from the past nine months of school; it’s a time to be out in the sunshine, exploring local parks and taking trips to the pool. The summer months provide a much needed break for your child from school, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a break from learning. Children can lose as much as two to three months of math and reading skills over the summer, commonly known as brain drain, if their minds aren’t engaged during summer break.

Fortunately, there are fun and interesting ways to make sure your child is entertained and engaged mentally during this time. By utilizing the search feature on Afterschoolz, not only can you find traditional sports, but plenty of activities that exercise the mind as well. For example, chess is a popular way to teach your child a new skill while keep their mind engaged.

Tom Mikolyzk from the Oak Brook Library Chess Club says that chess is an excellent activity for your mind and “is directly related to math and other STEM courses. Students learn pattern recognition, and this is critical in both math and physics.”

Additionally, Chess is a “brain sport” that gives your child plenty of opportunities to compete; Mikolyzk himself encourages his students to enter tournaments. These competitions allow students to learn valuable life skills, like the ability to “lose gracefully, because there is always someone better than you, especially at the tournament level. You learn pretty quickly that losing is part of the game, and you can learn more from your defeats than wins.”

Giving your child a reading list or borderline homework-like activities may not always spark their interest, but providing a new challenge for your child could be the key to preventing that summer brain drain. Chess may not require a helmet to play, but Mikolyzk says, “tournament play is stressful. It takes stamina to concentrate for long periods of time.”

This summer, encourage your kids to try a new skill; help facilitate a love for learning in them during their “off-season”, whether it be through chess or any other of the exciting programs available to browse on Afterschoolz.


Find the best activities for your kids at Afterschoolz!

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