You’ve been there before. July rolls around and the kids start getting up later, spending their days watching YouTube clips, staying social on Snapchat and Instagram, or just staving off boredom. While the break from early mornings and homework is nice for kids and parents alike, one of the unintended consequences of summer break is the dreaded summer brain drain.
Whether you call it “brain drain” or “summer slide,” watching academic skills slip away over summer is no laughing matter. In fact, kids can lose as many as two to three months of math and reading skills over the summer.
Not only do students forget important concepts, but summer slide also means that teachers have to spend the first few weeks of a new school year re-teaching last year’s ideas and principles. Over time, summer brain drain can add up, putting some kids as much as a whole grade level behind their peers. Yikes! And while certain students are more likely to suffer from brain drain than others, all kids can be impacted by the phenomenon.
5 Ways Tech Camps Keep Kids Engaged
In states like Arizona, summer learning has become a key strategy in improving education for students. iD Tech, with summer programs in Arizona and nearly 30 states nationwide, is helping to combat summer learning loss by providing fun and educational programs for students ages 6-18. In fact, many researchers and teachers specifically recommend that students enroll in formal programs over the summer to help avoid regression.
STEM summer camps help combat brain drain by keeping students interested and engaged in a variety of topics. When kids attend a summer STEM camp, not only are they less likely to suffer from brain drain, but they can also build new skills, actually reversing the learning loss and instead advancing their education.
Here are some of the ways iD Tech helps kids and teens avoid brain drain.
- Learning Disguised as Fun
- Build a Skill Foundation
For much of K-12 education, kids must memorize everything from dates in history to math formulas to scientific principles. And while learning and remembering is half of the battle, teaching students to think properly is also important beyond simple memorization.
Skills like problem-solving, creativity, and if-then thinking encourage kids and teens to think through complex problems and come up with logical solutions. These important STEM skills challenge students to really think, making them better at a variety of subjects, from English to math to art, and nearly everything in between. While iD Tech teaches a lot of specific skills (like how to code in Python or how to use Autodesk software for 3D modeling), almost all of the courses teach foundational ideas that make students better in whatever they pursue. Your child just might come back from summer knowing even more than she did the year prior!
- Discover a New Passion
“You won’t know if you like it unless you try.” While these words are often used to coax a picky eater into trying a new food, the same is true when it comes to finding a passion or hobby. Looking back at my own childhood, there are lots of interests I have now that I wish I had been exposed to sooner. You really can’t tell what you’ll like unless you try it.
For technology in particular, most K-12 schools still don’t adequately teach computer science and other related technology fields. So your child might never learn if she’s great at coding apps or if his calling is becoming a web designer. Browse our 60+ tech courses for kids and teens >
While kids discover passions at all of our summer camps, one of the unique ways we introduce kids to technology is through iD Tech Mini for ages 6-9. These fun, half-day camp sessions (choose AM, PM, or full day) were designed with exploration and creativity in mind. Aspiring innovators spend the week learning about a single topic like coding or robotics, and spend the week learning how much fun they can have with that topic.
Programs like these are great for exposing kids to new ideas and letting them experience first-hand what they love most about tech. Studies show that developing hobbies and interests (like coding or game design) can actually improve a child’s cognitive skills, concentration, and determination, shaping and developing their personality. These interests can ultimately make students more successful in school, college, and future careers.
- Eliminate Boredom
Summers provide kids with a much-needed break from their increasingly busy lives. For many, the idea of lazy mornings, exponential free time, and plenty of time with friends seems like a dream scenario. Yet in reality, even the most involved kids and teens face summer boredom after a few weeks without structured activities in place.
One of the things we hear most from parents is that after a day of camp, their child was begging to come back each day. It’s hard to blame them! With equal parts fun and tech instruction, our camps are anything but boring. Even when we teach serious topics like electrical engineering and programming, we make it fun so that kids are consistently engaged and excited about learning. Plus, we do more than just keep their minds engaged. We also incorporate outdoor activities so that students can get up and move around. This sort of engagement is one of the best ways to combat summer slide.
- The Right Kind of Screen Time
It’s easy to spend all summer playing video games, but what if your child could spend his summer actually designing them? At iD Tech, we take the software and products students love (like Minecraft, Autodesk, Unreal Engine, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive) and turn them into high-tech summer courses where kids and teens actually build their knowledge instead of losing it.
In our Minecraft courses, students have a blast as they create their own worlds and discover the power of redstone, but they also learn about the fundamentals of Java, one of the world’s most popular programming languages which was used to create Minecraft. Making connections between technology and the games they already love to play puts a STEM career within reach and develops an authentic passion. When kids come back to school after one of our Minecraft courses, they’ll be more excited about the game and Java programming.
Have you ever snuck veggies into a meal to maximize nutrition while disguising the greens as a different food entirely? Summer camps like iD Tech work very similarly. With fun activities, dress-up days, and the chance to meet tons of new friends, campers hardly realize all of the new skills that they’re learning over the course of the week. They’re not looking at camp as School 2.0, because iD Tech is nothing like school. It’s a high-energy environment where kids and teens can discover an authentic passion for technology. We don’t sacrifice fun for instruction, we find a way to do both. It is camp, after all. Read more about our teaching style >
Find a Passion and Stop the Summer Slide
Don’t let summer brain drain wreck havoc on your child. Instead, treat them to a fun and educational experience that will make the summer last a lifetime. iD Tech summer camps are conveniently held at 100+ prestigious campuses across the country. Find a location near you >
Kids and teens can learn to program, code apps, engineer robots, design games, model 3D characters, create films, get connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), work with 3D printers, design a website, and so much more. Come see why thousands of parents have entrusted iD Tech to encourage and inspire their children. You won’t be disappointed.