How to avoid summer vacation cognitive loss
Summer vacation means sleeping late, staying up late, and doing very little except enjoying time out of school. However, did you know that the average student loses one to three month’s math and reading gains made over the prior year? Academic losses are so common among students that educators have given the phenomena a name: Summer Brain Drain.
This makes starting the following school year difficult.
Summer Brain Drain may even be worse for ADHD students already having trouble at school.
Going to school daily provides schedules and routines. The summer break means those routines aren’t there. Expectations are lowered or relaxed. Even sleep schedules are often totally abandoned.
Unfortunately, exercise is often replaced with computer time, watching movies, or playing video games with friends. That’s a bad idea. While there’s nothing wrong with playing video games or watching movies, sedentary activity must always be balanced with exercise. This is especially important for an ADHD student.
So here are some tips that should help prevent Summer Brain Drain:
• Take advantage of the summer months to start your Play Attention program (800.788.6786). Summer is a great time to start Play Attention because you will have the time to get a solid routine, begin strengthening cognitive skills, and work on eliminating distracting behaviors. Play Attention is the only program available that integrates feedback technology, attention training, memory training, cognitive skill training and behavior shaping. This guarantees you will have the most complete program available with the best possible outcomes.
• Organize your life and set a consistent routine with ADHD Nanny (www.adhdnanny.com). This is a fantastic online program for consistency, rewards, and taking the stress off mom!
• Read. Decrease reading losses by developing a fun reading plan with your child. Select reading level appropriate books and have fun discussing them and even acting out some scenes!
• Plan trips to the library for story telling, selecting a new book, or even just browsing the magazine selection.
• You’ll likely go to the mall, grocery store, or gas station over the summer. Make these math trips! Use numbers found at these locations to create on the spot games with prizes. Even you car’s trip meter can be of service for math problems.
• Set a routine. Sleeping late is fine as long as it’s balanced with proper exercise and proper bedtime. Remember your teen will need far more sleep than your 6 – 12 year old.
• Get outside…a lot. Working in the yard promotes better attention. No kidding! Being in a green environment has been shown to decrease attention problems, so get outside and play!
• Establish a balanced diet. The high fat, high sugar diet commonly consumed in the US has been shown to contribute greatly to attention issues as well as obesity. Avoid too much fast food even though it’s convenient. Dinner time at the table with a balanced meal promotes both family harmony and good health.