Is it just me or is time flying by insanely quickly? Here in Michigan we are 2 weeks away from Spring Break and everyone knows after you get back from that you blink and school is done for the year and we are cruising into summer. I can’t even think about it because that also means only a few months of summer and Silas will go to Kindergarten. I didn’t even go to the orientation meeting last night because I can. not. deal. My baby!!
Anywho, where was I before I curled up in the fetal position and started breathing into a paper bag?
I try to strike a balance every summer between keeping things loosey goosey so we can enjoy ourselves and having enough structure so we don’t kill each other. It’s a delicate, delicate balance. There are many days when I don’t think we are going to make it. #keepinitreal
I will admit, one thing I’ve never much planned for is educational activities that help my kids retain what they’ve learned through the year. I’ve always believed summer is all about fun (and not killing each other) and learning always seems like kind of a lame mom thing to do. But did you know that studies show that by the end of summer, students perform, on average, one to two months behind where they left off in the spring. Yowza. That is not good news.
So how can I help my kids retain what they learn but still have it be something fun so as not listen to choruses of “summer is not for school mom!!”?
Well I am beyond excited to share a new program I have recently learned about that is so fun my kids cannot WAIT to start participating this summer.
Brain Chase is a 5-week online summer learning challenge for 2nd through 8th graders. In order to keep kids interested and engaged in learning they have created a massive global treasure hunt powered by reading, writing and math. And get this- there is an actual treasure buried somewhere in the world. The student who finds it gets a $10,000 scholarship and trophy. How’s that for motivation?
I recently chatted with the founders of Brain Chase and was blown away by how much thought they put into making their program challenging, self-directed, individualized to your kid’s needs and, most importantly fun. They have partnered with leading education sites like The Khan Academy, the myON digital book library, as well as certified teachers who will be grading your child’s work throughout the program.
Plus did you catch the REAL LIFE TREASURE HUNT? Clues can be found throughout the curriculum and your kids can guess at the location every 24 hours. My kids are obsessed with treasure hunts. They come by in naturally. The first computer game I ever played was Where In The World Is Carmen Santiago? (somehow my husband has never heard of this game) I loved following clues and figuring out puzzles. So much so I was asking the founders if I could sign myself up for their program. Mama needs $10,000. Unfortunately that was a big no. #sadtrombone
With Brain Chase, each day kids are responsible for an hour of academic work (about 5 hours per week). If you have multiple kids and buy them each a Brain Chase membership, they will each have a separate log in that tracks their individual progress. There is testing done at the beginning to make sure each child is working at an appropriate level for them. Kids are rewarded for the work they do, not the level they are at or even the accuracy. It was really important to the founders of Brain Chase that kids who struggle still feel success.
Brain Chase isn’t cheap. But when you compare it with the cost of tutoring or intensive summer camps it really is comparable if not cheaper. And right now, they are offering early bird pricing through April 15th. Even better, all Just Jilly readers can get 15% off with the code JUSTJILLY15 bringing the price down to $127. When I think about all that is offered for that $127 I really do feel like it is an incredible value. You will get:
- 5 weeks of customized, structured challenges on external reading and math websites, all of which is organized and tracked through the Brain Chase dashboard
- Weekly writing exercises with feedback from credentialed teachers
- Weekly progress reports emailed to parents
- Exclusive access to an original animated adventure series loaded with hidden puzzles and clues
- 3 adventure tools mailed to your home to help solve special bonus challenges (last year one of the tools was a secret decoder ring – A DECODER RING!!)
- Participation in a massive global treasure hunt for a golden trophy containing the key to a safe deposit box holding $10,000.
I have a million more things I could tell you about this amazing program, but check out their website and this video for more info. Or feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.
Seriously, don’t you want to do this yourself? Am I just a giant nerd???