Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

There are some crazy statistics out there detailing all the knowledge children lose between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. How incredibly frustrating for both children and parents, who probably slaved over homework and projects, only to lose a third of what they had gained! But just because school isn’t in session doesn’t mean the learning has to stop.

The youngest of our kids have always taken their own initiative to do something that stimulates their brains. Parker loves his music and spends time writing songs, while Anika enjoys reading and writing reports on topics that interest her. The older two were not so motivated, but we gave them an extra little push. Each summer Derek and Kira were required to do a reading and writing assignment each day. They may have considered it torture, but the results were – and still are – obvious. (Just ask Kira, who just finished her master’s at an Ivy league school an entire year early).

You don’t have to assign homework to your kids like they would get at school. Even reading comic books is still reading, which is always more thought-provoking than television or video games. It also helps if your children see you doing a bit of the same: reading the newspaper, enjoying a good book, or writing in a journal are all options.

Our kids will be busy exercising their brains this summer – it’s one way we will all survive summer break.