Cognitive fall back is not a technical term. In this article, I use it to describe the phenomenon experienced by many school-aged students over summer break. The excitement of a never-ending summer without teachers and homework often overshadows any notion of studying while on vacation from school.
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.