Why Students Decline Over Summer Break
According to the Brookings Institution—a nonprofit organization that conducts research about problems facing US society—during the summer, students' achievement scores decline by about one month’s worth of school year learning. Children who have a better chance of avoiding the summer setback are those with access to resources such as libraries, activities with educated family members, or quality summer programs.
Alice Cooper has set the stage and summer break has arrived. That means long days in bathing suits, drinking water from the hose, lemonade stands, and of course, music. Whether your children prefer a hot day at the beach or a calm afternoon in with friends, did you know that practicing a musical instrument, or even just listening to music, can promote strong cognitive development and sustain cognitive function—even when school is out?
The average summer break for American students is about 70-90 days. According to some linguists, that’s enough time to become fluent in French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, or Swahili. If you spent 10 hours per day studying one of these foreign languages, you could achieve basic fluency in just 48 days. Extra time is required for more difficult languages such as Chinese or Arabic.
There is often confusion about the difference between hearing and listening. This is partly because listening depends on the ability to hear. Generally, however, hearing refers to the ability to process sounds and is considered an automatic process that is not consciously directed. The physiology of the ear and the brain is such that sound waves are received in the ear and sent to the brain for automatic decoding.
In recent years there has been increased attention on the notion of direct brain training to help with specific disabilities. These various procedures have built on growing neuroscience knowledge and research on brain plasticity.
Listen up! When hearing loss affects more than hearing, you can use your voice to boost your brain.