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Combat Summer Brain Drain

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ATLANTA -

Use it or lose it. Experts say the old motto applies to kids who are out of school for the summer. If your child doesn't get enough intellectual stimulation over the summer they can actually "lose" what they learned during the school year.

It's called "summer brain drain" and experts are reminding parents that summer break, shouldn't mean your kids are taking a break from learning. "It's just this, kind of phenomenon with children when they go to school from September to May, then they have a couple months off during the summer, they lose what they learn during the school year," says Laura Evans with the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

Evans, goes on to say that most children lose about two months of grade level equivalency over the summer months.This especially holds true for children from low income families. "It's a year round process and in order for our children to get ahead, to be college and career ready we've always got to think about learning and how to provide them with enriching interactions and enriching opportunities" said Evans.

Many kids prevent the summer brain drain by attending camps or going on vacation.

But for families who can't afford that, there are simple activities you can do at home, says Evans. "Everybody's got measuring cups in their home, or most people do, doing a big plastic container of pinto beans or black eyed peas and letting the children play with measuring cups and those beans exposes them to greater than smaller than, and estimation."

Those types of mentally stimulating activities will keep the focus on learning...even while having fun. "It needs to be a time for acceleration rather than just a time to have free time," said Evans.

For more inexpensive ideas to keep your kids engaged this summer, see the Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards calendar of suggestions.

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