I read somewhere that children remember about 7% of what they recently learned from school, during the summer time vacation. I know that the statistic refers to facts and figures. Somehow, song lyrics, phone numbers, email addresses are rarely forgotten. I used to tell my students who told me they couldn’t remember grammar rules that they should recite the words to the latest rap, whatever it was at that time. They would almost without fail recite the perfect lyrics verbatim. So, this proves that when memorized data is interesting and relevant, anyone can remember anything! Summer time off of school is a great time for young children and adults to “get into” puzzles and mind enhancing games. Exposure to another language and culture also enhances brain activity. So, the “lazy, crazy days of summer” can be relaxing and slow-paced while the brain remains stimulated and consistently learning.
We were taught to do Sudoku by our nephew and we always have a book in our house. Sometimes one of us begins a puzzle and someone else finishes it. Another great mind enhancer is to get crossword puzzle books and complete them as a family. Not only does your family get to interact, but, trivial facts become common knowledge by all the participants. Most online and print newspapers offer crossword puzzles and Sudoku squares daily. Check out your favorite news site or paper and begin a new habit!
Of course traveling to a place where another language is spoken remains an optimal way to increase brain activity. Children benefit from hearing new sounds and slowly making sense of the vocabulary that then becomes a new language they understand and speak. If traveling to another country is not a possibility now, see if your local university has foreign students remaining in the U. S. during the summer who want to be a Mother’s Helper and improve his or her English skills. If he or she is willing to help out around the house while living with an American family and teaching the children his or her native language, the arrangement can be mutually beneficial and not violate their student status which prohibits working while in the U. S.
Share with us any suggestions for stimulating additional brain activity during the summer! We look forward to hearing from you!