When the temperatures soar and the beach beckons, the last thing students want to do is think about school. But if students are serious about maintaining good grades and attending a good college, they have to keep your educational edge during the vacation months.
Studies show that students lose up to three months of academic progress during the summer, a phenomenon called “Summer Slide.” But forget about slaving over boring books or memorizing dry flash cards.
There are less burdensome ways to stay ahead of the game. The key is to engage your brain. Here are some novel projects that will keep your academic skills sharp for the coming school year:
Project 1: Write Something
The regular practice of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) will boost literary proficiency. Starting a journal is a good idea, but also consider –
Creating a comic strip.
Be creative, and think up some characters and situations to put them in. Try to produce one strip a week to distribute to family and friends. Visit this site for help.
Writing a script for your favorite TV show or a TV show you make up yourself. Conjure up dialogue for an episode of “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody” or “Modern Family.” Or, write dialogue based on your own family or friends.
Developing a blog. A blog is simply a regular, written record of your thoughts and opinions on anything – it’s just written online. Find some ideas here.
Communicating by snail mail.
Composing letters is a lost art. But writing letters by hand helps you better focus your thoughts. You can’t cut and paste at will, and so you have to get it right the first time.
To whom can you write? Rihanna, Barack Obama, The CEO of Macy’s Department Stores, the manager of the local McDonald’s. Use Google to find addresses.
Project 2: Make or Start Something
Following the steps to make or build something is a good way to keep your thinking sharp. Cooking is an easy way to do it, but also try…
Building a robot:
(you can buy a cheap motor at an electronics store, like Radio Shack or Fry’s.)
Making craft or science projects.
Launching a business:
“9 Quick Start Businesses For Your Budding Entrepreneur”
Project 3: Go Somewhere
Encountering new places, especially ones where you can learn something new, helps work your brain muscle. Museums are good places to start.
Go on the day of the month when they’re free. And check out these free tours of San Francisco.
Project 4: Read Something Interesting
Reading does not have to be boring. Get a library card, and explore the possibilities. Comic books, magazines and TV show websites are all fair game. Just try to do it every day!