Help your kids avoid summer ‘brain drain’

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Over the past several weeks, The Exponent Telegram has reported on a variety of camps, library and park programs designed to give children something to do this summer.

Whether it be a 4-H camp, a church camp, a theater camp or a reading program at the library, all provided fun experiences for the children involved.

But more important than just being more summer fun, all of those events involved educational activities.

With changes in the school calendar, we’ve heard some people complain that kids need a chance to wind down and relax after a “tough” school year.

Some adults worry that starting the school year earlier will somehow interfere with kids being kids.

While we agree children need time to have fun, to splash in a pool, to enjoy a nice ball game or to just ride bikes, parents need to make sure that their children also remain intellectually stimulated when they are away from school.

Educators have shared stories, and numerous studies support the belief that letting children be educationally idle during the summer break can cost them in lost learning skills.

Referred to as “brain drain,” a summer without stimulating challenges can hurt students’ development, according to a study by Dr. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia…

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