Parenting: Bringing the Mind Back to School

Tips on how to stimulate your child's mind as the summer's end nears.

Summer is now in full swing and the brains of our youth could be in retrograde (along with Mars).  Brain pausing, lack of stimulation, stagnant curiosity (oh... that’s the Mars connection) could be occurring in many of our youth’s cerebellum.  What is a parent to do?

You’ve got it!  Shut off the electronics and let the kids play.  

The weather is wonderful to hike, bike, or saunter to the library. Veer them away from the computers and have them pick a book or magazine to peruse.  Go to the beach!  If the teacher gave homework over the summer – yes, that DOES happen – it may be in the best interest of your child as the summer is drawing to an end, to FIND the homework under the mountains of clothing and have your reluctant child DO the homework upon finding a workable writing utensil. 

This may stimulate the brain cells or it may cause depression, apathy and brain reversal by actually trying to engage in schoolwork before school.

Has any parent heard the words, “You want me to do that?  It is summer!  Not school!”  Clear proof the brain hasn’t made the connection that education is year round, 24/7 much like my mood swings. 

Some simple tricks to engage the brain:

  1. Play a board game (Monopoly, Clue, Risk, Chess, Checkers…) 
  2. Play cards
  3. Cook together
  4. Have your child bury a treasure in the back yard and draw a treasure map for you to find it.
  5. Paint
  6. Play music
  7. Write a song or a play
  8. Play charades
  9. Read together
  10. Give a grocery list and have the older ones find the best prices…have them estimate/round/add
  11. Have your older ones look at your paycheck and understand the income tax taken..REALITY CHECK
  12. Go to the tide pools
  13. Go on a hike
  14. Write a one liner…you begin by writing one sentence.  Your child writes one sentence, the next family member writes one sentence then the story comes back to you.  You then can draw one line….the next child draws a line that adds to the picture of the story, the next family member draws a line..etc. until a complete picture is formed .  Then back to the story.
  15. Design a board game and make it on the inside of a file folder.  Then you can file and take it with you on trips.
  16. Make a family song or poem.
  17. Create a family dance.
  18. Have a family joke night.

Stimulating the mind is always important but knowing school is around the corner it may behoove your child to go to bed a bit earlier and begin the wake up process a bit earlier. After, do a few mind bender activities before the school year begins.  It can be done!  After all,  Curiosity is on Mars!

Geoff Burton August 09, 2012 at 07:34 AM
Thanks Jodi, I can't believe summer vacation is almost over.


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