Summer brain drain has been a common fear of parents and educators for decades. Research shows that students return to school approximately one month behind academically.

Some students lose more of what they've learned, and some lose less. For example, students from lower income families tend to lose more ground in their reading skills, while those from higher income families may actually gain skills. In addition, it has been found that all students lose some mathematics knowledge over the summer.

"Most disturbing is that summer learning loss is cumulative; over time, the difference between the summer learning rates of low-income and higher-income students contributes substantially to the achievement gap," according to the RAND Education report from 2011

That said, there are ways children can use the summer to not only maintain their academic knowledge, but expand it as well. This is the perfect time for them to regain their love of learning and explore what excites them. They can then reflect on what they've learned and why it is important.

Exercise for the brain is part of a healthy lifestyle, just like with physical exercise. Good exercise routines include training, warm up stretches, the exercise itself, a strengthening component, and a cool-down stretch. Here's a workout plan designed to strengthen your child's brain this summer:

Although this brain workout can help your child grow and develop, remember that overtraining is a concern, just as with physical workout programs; try to use everyday events to grow your child's brain.

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