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Preventing The Summer Brain Drain

May 16, 2014, 6:15 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Preventing The Summer Brain Drain

While your kids are probably excited for summer vacation, make sure they don't stop learning.

Research shows kids can lose more than two months of what they learned in school during summer break. The experts say you don't have to make summer learning feel like work.

The Brunz children are enjoying their first full day of summer vacation. While plenty of fun is in the forecast their mom also has plans to make sure her children don't forget some of the information they've learned.

"Losing 2.5 months of learning sounds crazy to me because then your teacher has to make that up for the first two months of the school year," Michelle Brunz said.

Michelle's four kids will meet with a teacher once a week during the summer to go over math. They're also doing workbook exercises and using educational apps.

"If they can find this engaging and interesting, it's not so much work for them," Michelle said.

When you're looking at apps to help your children learn, Dr. Keri Orstad says make sure they're age appropriate.

"If you use them correctly and in a limited time period, they can be really helpful," Sanford Health Dr. Keri Orstad said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of screen time for kids a day. Orstad says you also want to check if the apps are educational, for entertainment, or a mixture of both.

"(For) older kids, you may want to consider doing some that are specifically geared toward a specific goal, such as learning a specific language, but for the littler ones it's probably a better idea to let them play and explore," Orstad said.

Another good choice: Apps that make your children use their math skills.

"You lose a little bit more math than reading ability through the summer whether that's because we use reading more and we use language and vocabulary all the time, and the math we don't use quite as much," Orstad said.

Michelle actually got a list of recommended apps from the Harrisburg school district.

"They use those apps in school also. They're using it for reading, spelling and social studies," Brunz said.

Between the technology and the time away from the classroom, Michelle hopes this summer is both educational and enjoyable.

"We make it fun, so it's not so much work for them," Brunz said.

Here’s a list of recommended apps from the Harrisburg School District:

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