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Don’t stop learning just because it’s summer

May 16, 2017

The much-anticipated summer break is near. Dreary days sitting in class have ended with the inevitable summer gap as students count down the days until school starts over again.

The duration of summer is exalted in the idea, but the effects are loathsome. The seemingly endless days of fun and games in the sunshine without a care in the world can result in a dearth of learning. How does this summer gap affect the progression of education? It is no secret that the first weeks of school are spent trying to resurrect the basic needed knowledge in students before even beginning the curriculum. It goes without saying that the gap creates an adverse reaction because of the delayed learning curve.  

In 2011 decades of research was made available to the public. Scientists had been researching the effect of the summer gap on the brain. The RAND Corporation has found students lose one to two months of each year’s learning per summer in the more prized areas such as math and reading. Compared to those who can afford to take educational trips during the summer to continue to further their brain development, students in lower socio-economic homes are significantly disadvantaged by the long summer gap.  

Worry not, there is a way to be far more prepared for the sudden return to strict learning environments. Reading AP leveled material recommended by teachers or participating in local book programs are shown to sustain and circulate brain activity. Studies show that reading high-level material is an easy way to open pathways for development.

The local Wasilla Public Library supports and hosts several opportunities to further basic education. More information about the available courses can be found at the home site and the physical location.  

Another way to keep teenagers minds engaged is to be physically active with activities like hiking, camping, fishing. Exploring the great outdoors and participating in the outside world, instead of being plugged into their phone all day long or confined indoors is always an easy solution to open a young mind.

The human brain is an incredibly complex organ, composed of nerve cells and it communicates commands to the rest of the body. It is not meant to be idle. The brains purpose is to take in knowledge, store and convert it, so people can use that newfound knowledge, keep memories, and do basic things like thinking and talking. It is truly an amazing part of the human body yet its potential is strained by the addiction of technology. The rise in technology is affecting people ever by changing sleep patterns, memory, attention span, and ability to focus.

The only way to improve one’s brain is to take responsibility and initiate growth. Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.”

This summer take advantage of resources, further your education, and do whatever it takes to be prepared each day to learn more.

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