What are your thoughts on "summer brain drain"? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 40 Old 06-01-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Coral123 View Post

Ollyoxenfree I hear what you are saying. My point of saying zero degrees is that those activities are much less pleasurable than they might be at say 20 degrees.  Our February last year was brutal. I'd say where I live though that people value their time off during the warmer months.  For families that don't have a lot of money, skiing is not something commonly done. 

 

During the summers here many people do things like outdoor swimming lessons,tennis lessons, nature camps, girl scout camps etc.  So kids would have much less time to do things like this, or you would have many kids competing to get into a limited amount of slots at nature camp.

 

One other consideration is that as a family, we like to do some travel/outdoor activities during the warmer months.  My husband and I both have jobs where  everyone can take vacation time at once.  If summer break was shorter, that means more people would be competing to take certain weeks off....so it very well could mean we might not be able to do some of those same things as a family.

 

If there was a debate between balanced calendar(with less summer break) and a longer school year(also less summer break)...I'd definitely choose the longer school year.



I'm glad you understand that I'm saying that spreading out vacation time evenly throughout the school year suits many, many people who have different interests, work and life constraints, and needs than your family and it can benefit a lot of children who struggle with summer brain drain issues  smile.gif.   I hear you saying that your personal, individual preference is for the current system and I understand why that is. 

 

I'm not sure about some of the objections in pp. If a family only has 2 weeks vacation per year and there are 12 school vacation weeks per year, then that's a problem whether the vacation weeks are spread out or consolidated mostly into a single block.  A 6-week summer vacation period is still pretty generous and many parents find their children are bored and restless half-way through the summer anyway. 

 

It seems to me that offering vacation times throughout the year, rather than over a single period, provides a lot more choice to families and is more equitable for those families who can't or don't want to vacation in the summer. 

 

 

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#32 of 40 Old 06-01-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

I'm not sure about some of the objections in pp. If a family only has 2 weeks vacation per year and there are 12 school vacation weeks per year, then that's a problem whether the vacation weeks are spread out or consolidated mostly into a single block.  A 6-week summer vacation period is still pretty generous and many parents find their children are bored and restless half-way through the summer anyway. 

 

It seems to me that offering vacation times throughout the year, rather than over a single period, provides a lot more choice to families and is more equitable for those families who can't or don't want to vacation in the summer. 

 



 We'd love more time off in the fall or spring, because those are better times to visit my husband's family overseas. However, around here at least, many families hire college students who are on break to nanny for the summer - it would be much more difficult to find child care if the breaks for younger kids didn't coincide with the breaks for older students. Also, I know several families who have kids in different schools, and can never travel over spring break, for example, because their kids' schools have different spring breaks. If different schools in an area all had different breaks, it could make it almost impossible to ever take a family trip.

 

Of course, I'm in a place where the summer is very short and very precious, too, so can't imagine having the kids sit inside in school during that time of year. And many of the schools here don't have A/C, so adding it to accomodate year-round schooling could be a significant expense!

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#33 of 40 Old 06-01-2011, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
I'm glad you understand that I'm saying that spreading out vacation time evenly throughout the school year suits many, many people who have different interests, work and life constraints, and needs than your family and it can benefit a lot of children who struggle with summer brain drain issues  smile.gif.   I hear you saying that your personal, individual preference is for the current system and I understand why that is. 

 

I'm not sure about some of the objections in pp. If a family only has 2 weeks vacation per year and there are 12 school vacation weeks per year, then that's a problem whether the vacation weeks are spread out or consolidated mostly into a single block.  A 6-week summer vacation period is still pretty generous and many parents find their children are bored and restless half-way through the summer anyway. 

 

It seems to me that offering vacation times throughout the year, rather than over a single period, provides a lot more choice to families and is more equitable for those families who can't or don't want to vacation in the summer. 


The biggest complaint from the working/SP families at our school meetings is that right now there is plenty of availability for childcare in the summer months.  We are lousy with summer camps and other families make a living running them. We have tons of local colleges, many with ECE programs so summer nannies are easy to find and very cost efficient.  In our area it is much more affordable to book one place for 3 months than it is to use off season short term care. Now the argument could also be made that if ALL the schools changed the schedule than new businesses would rise up and the cost would go down due to supply and demand. But right now its just a couple of towns and private schools discussing.

 


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#34 of 40 Old 06-01-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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In my observation, it's more of a problem for kids who are struggling learners who also come from disadvantaged backgrounds than it is for kids who live in an enriched, stable, involved environment.

 

I think getting more involved with some of the homeless and/or at-risk families in our district has really opened my eyes to a lot of things.  Some of the english language learning kids in particular really lose a lot of stuff over the summer.  Which makes a lot of sense--if I took Spanish for a year and then just stopped with no practicing, I'd get rusty.  If I then had to continue to take math, science, reading, writing, ect. in Spanish, by the time I caught up I'd probably be at a deficit in the other subjects.

 

That being said, I think the solution should be to offer library checkouts/academic interest clubs (with transportation) over the summer to kids who really could use it or who wish to participate.  One size fits all things don't really work, since the kids who probably are at the most risk of serious retention problems also don't have parents or environments that are conducive to getting worksheets/bookreading done anyway, no matter how motivated the kids might be (and many ARE motivated and do worry about falling back behind, esp. if they've busted their butt during the school year).

 

Fat chance of that with all the budget cuts.  It makes me crazy/sad to think about it. 

i agree tigerchild. before budget cuts bussed in summer school really helped out the homeless and at risk children. esp. as you pointed out second language learners. we had a perfectly working solution that got taken away.  you definitely see the drop in performance esp in the school district which has the highest high risk population (in fact a new school district was created just for that area not too long ago - yet sadly when the budget cuts started they were the first to lose their library). the laid off library staff struggled to volunteer and collect used/free books for the kids to take home. 

 

we also had mobile library vans at certain locations that also was cancelled.

 

however for us dd lives for those months off.  
 

 


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#35 of 40 Old 06-02-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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We're definitely going to have to keep reinforcing skills this summer.  DD is  in kindy this year and she's not reading at the level they would like her to be.  On the one hand, I'm not taking it to seriously because it is kindergarten but on the other, I don't want her to go into first grade and not be able to keep up and have it be a vicious cycle.  So, we'll be working on reading skills and math skills every day this summer.  I'm hoping to get through hooked on phonics K&1, so that she enters first grade with some confidence.  Same thing with math, I am just going to try to take 30 minutes a day and try to get her a bit ahead.  It would be nice to let it go completely, but the bright side is that at this age, she loves to learn so we'd probably end up "playing" school a lot anyway.

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#36 of 40 Old 06-08-2011, 01:36 PM
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My oldest son is going into 3rd grade, and did not finish memorizing his addition facts during the school year, even though the rest of his group moved onto multiplication. Also, his handwriting and writing mechanics are way, way behind where they need to be. So we are requiring math and handwriting practice over the summer. My second is going into 1st and just to be fair, we are also having him do some academic enrichment. They are doing summer reading programs for the public library and school, but they like reading so it isn't an area of contention. 

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#37 of 40 Old 06-08-2011, 01:58 PM
 
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"Count Down" is a great way to practice math facts in a fun way. Target used to sell it in the game department and it wa pretty cheap. I also reccomend "Handwriting without tears" for penmanship practice. We've used it at our house for various reasons and the kids always liked it.
 

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Originally Posted by MJB View Post

My oldest son is going into 3rd grade, and did not finish memorizing his addition facts during the school year, even though the rest of his group moved onto multiplication. Also, his handwriting and writing mechanics are way, way behind where they need to be. So we are requiring math and handwriting practice over the summer. My second is going into 1st and just to be fair, we are also having him do some academic enrichment. They are doing summer reading programs for the public library and school, but they like reading so it isn't an area of contention. 



 


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#38 of 40 Old 06-10-2011, 08:56 AM
 
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I see the idea of brain drain for some students. I talked to my daughter's teacher last year right before the start of the school year. She asked me what she alll summer and I gave a run down of playing with friends outside, riding her scooter, organizing games outside with all the kids in our neighborhood, going to the pool...just being a kid. She feels like I do, kids learn so much from playing, organizing etc.

 

As far as books, both my kids love reading and the older one is a book worm so that is not an issue. OTH, she has to work at her math facts. She did very well on her report card, but if she didnt spend a few minutes daily doing her math, that would have not been the case. So we will write out about 5-10 math problems a few times a week and she has all day to do them. Just to keep her up to date. Just like when I dont do my workouts, its very noticable. but that is about it other than trips to musuems etc that is enrichment to science etc.

 

 


"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#39 of 40 Old 06-11-2011, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

"Count Down" is a great way to practice math facts in a fun way. Target used to sell it in the game department and it wa pretty cheap. I also reccomend "Handwriting without tears" for penmanship practice. We've used it at our house for various reasons and the kids always liked it.
 



 


He used HWT in 1st grade and I think that's actually where a lot of his bad habits came from. It definitely did not work for him. We're using Zaner-Bloser now with much better results. 

I did find this website with timed addition tests if anyone else is working on math facts: http://www.playkidsgames.com/games/mathfact/mathFact.htm

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#40 of 40 Old 06-11-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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We do not get mandatory summer work but I have my kids do one workbook all summer - Summer Bridge Activities and read.  They spend about 30-40 minutes 5 x/week for about 3/4 of the summer working on it.  It still allows plenty of time for play and such.  They also participate in our library's summer reading program.  It's not a great program but it does get them reading a bit more.


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