If you are anything like me, you have been going at breakneck speed all spring long, with something big looming just beyond your planning horizon. Yep, believe it or not, summer will be here before we know it. For those of you 9-5ers, you’ve probably had your summer planned out for some time now. For those of you like me with a little more flexibility in your days, it might still be a work in progress.
Regardless of where you are in summer planning, research shows that the average student wraps up summer a month behind academically. In between shutting your littles to camp, applying sunscreen multiple times a day, packing lunches, washing towels and taking trips, it’s hard to imagine squeezing in anything else. So, the question is: how do you keep kids learning during their summer vacation?
Austin parents Allan and Heather Staker set out to answer this very question. Combining Heather’s background in education with Allan’s experience working on video games and commercials, these parents of 5 kids between the ages of 1 and 10 recently launched Brain Chase, a 6-week summer learning challenge for 2nd-8th graders which combines weekly webisodes with online learning games. There is no way to compare handing your child a workbook with a compelling storyline, graphics which will remind you Wild Kratts and the chance to find a prize worth $10,000. Enrollment is limited to 5,000 children.
Part of the draw for kids is that new chapters are unlocked only after they put in the time on reading, writing and math activities. “As software starts asking, ‘how can we help students exercise agency,’ this will just explode the quality and the satisfaction that students feel as they engage with it,” Heather says. “We need to relax some of our notions about the things that need to be imposed on students. If they feel like they’re in control it’s so much easier for them to buy in.”
Brain Chase has partnered with the Khan Academy for its math content and has over 6,000 digital books available through a partnership with myON. Certified teachers make sure writing assignments pass muster before the child is allowed to move on. Participants will also complete in online and offline bonus challenges with the help of a decoder ring, compass and other materials delivered in the mail. Parents will receive a weekly progress report via email.
Although Brain Chase begins at 9am EST on Monday, June 30, 2014, the early registration fee of $149 only lasts until April 30th. On May 1st, the registration fee increases to $199 per participant. The first participant to complete the Challenge and determine the hidden treasure’s location, within a two-mile radius, will fly with a parent to uncover the real-life Globe of Magellan, valued at $10,000, and take it home.
WIN ONE REGISTRATION FOR BRAIN CHASE
The nice folks at Brain Chase would like to offer free registration to one lucky LiveMom reader. To enter, leave a comment (with your name) or fill out the form below to enter for your chance to win. All entries must be received by 9am CST on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014.
The fine print:
Only one entry per child. The winner will be contacted via email with 24 hours to respond to claim the prize. If the winner does not respond within the 24 hour time frame, a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open only to U.S. residents. The giveaway holds no cash value and cannot be switched for any other products. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. By leaving a comment below or completing the form, you are agreeing to the above terms and conditions.
Our giveaway is now closed. Congrats to our winner, Ann Marie!