May, 2012

May 12

Train the Brain – Summertime Ways to Boost Learning

According to this interesting article in today’s Toronto Sun, two major influences help to develop the “executive function” of children’s brains. The learning of a second language and the study of music, according to neuro-scientists, can really boost success in the classroom.

While summertime learning may gear down when school is closed, camp can be a great vehicle for picking up a second language. Here is what worked for my family. It ultimately helped in making my children bilingual (and in the case of my daughter, trilingual).

You may want to modify what we did to suit your own child’s needs. My children attended summer camp in Quebec. Eventually, after several summers, my kids were chatting happily and as fluently as the francophone kids. My children spent many happy summers at Camp Jean-Jeune in VendÊe. One especially impressive camp was Camp Mariste, which included drama and dance camps (all in French of course). For a listing of all camps in Quebec, please visit

Another opportunity which kick-started my daughter’s interest in Spanish was the Arco International Co-operative Program. This program which originates in Quebec sends supervised groups of students (as well as groups of adults) to do volunteer work in various Latin American countries.

I have lots of opinions re: music lessons too. But will save these for my next blog entry.

Wishing you safe and happy summer plans!