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The 411: Youth

Keep brains, bodies busy this summer

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July 18, 2012 | 1,085 views | Post a comment

What can parents do to keep young brains and bodies engaged in healthy ways over the summer? Scheiner offers these tips:

•Journal current achievement levels. How do you know if your child is affected by summer slide if you don’t remember where they ended the year? Create a summer journal and, in the first few pages, document what they most recently learned in their major subjects. Were they adding and subtracting double-digit numbers? Doing long division? What were some of their vocabulary or spelling words? Throughout the summer, you can track their progress and, at the least, maintain those levels -- or maybe even move on to more challenging material.

•Try a weeklong educational day camp. We all want our kids to have fun during the summer, and they can. Enroll in the fun, active day camps that focus on art, music, or swimming. But toward the end of the summer, have your children attend one week of math camp and one week of reading camp as a refresher.

•Feed the brain during free time. Kids have a lot more free time in the summer. With fewer scheduled activities, even kids who attend a camp may have more time to hang out in the evening. How can you feed their brain during this extra time? Visit the library and check out print books, audio books, educational DVDs, and even educational computer games. Many websites offer activity ideas that you and the kids can enjoy together. For instance, a free e-book, “10 Top Fun Wise Games: Making Learning Math Fun,” is available at

•ACTIVE-ate the brain. Getting active exercises both the body and the brain. Just like our body needs exercise to stay healthy, so does the brain to keep those neurons firing. Encourage kids to stay active and play outside during the summer and allow only limited, scheduled times for sedentary activities like video games or TV.

Carrie Scheiner was inspired by her own children to develop the first Exploracise® program that creatively teaches math facts during a complete workout. She earned a bachelor’s degree in math with a minor in secondary education, and a master’s in statistics from Rutgers University.

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