Keeping the Mind Active with Summer “Brain Work”
Summer “brain work” is valuable in helping students keep their minds limber and active so they are ready for the academic rigor of the fall. For some, this may involve summer coursework, while others may follow a more informal learning track that includes reading, intentionally learning new things through one-shot classes or making sure to have some new experiences.
Whatever the case may be, intentionally keeping their brain in shape takes some planning. Here are a few questions to help your student get in that mindset…
- What is a new experience you’d like to have this summer? (e.g. traveling to a historical site, doing some family genealogy, trying a kayaking workshop at the local environmental education center)
- What are 3 things you’d like to learn this summer? (e.g. how to plant a vegetable garden, some basic meals to cook next semester when living off-campus, how to play tennis)
- How can you intentionally work your brain using books, the Internet and other media? (e.g. reading at least one “classic” from the library, regularly following a site with thought-provoking articles such as Slate.com, getting a documentary on a subject like the global water crisis from Netflix)
- What are 2 things you can do this summer that are smart moves career-wise? (e.g. asking to job shadow someone in town doing a job that looks interesting, volunteering to help with a local event as a service and a networking opportunity, determining areas of strength and areas where you need to make an effort next year to gain some experience)
Here’s to a learning-, experience-filled summertime, filled with valuable brain work, to boot!
These resources can help students feel smarter and refresh their knowledge by summer’s end…
- Smarter by Sunday: 52 Weekends of Essential Knowledge for the Curious Mind by The New York Times
- Homework for Grown-ups: Everything You Learnt at School and Promptly Forgot by E. Foley & B. Coates
- I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot from School by Caroline Taggart
- How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew by Erin Bried
- How to Build a Fire: And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew by Erin Bried
- The Bedside Baccalaureate: A Handy Daily Cerebral Primer to Fill in the Gaps, Refresh Your Knowledge & Impress Yourself & Other Intellectuals Edited by David Rubel
- An Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned but Probably Didn’t by Judy Jones and William Wilson