Books that help kids retain knowledge on summer breaks

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 July, 2013, 11:00am

Most education experts say that children lose about three months of knowledge over the summer and teachers have to spend the first two months of the new school year catching up. Fortunately, there are ways to keep what they learned firmly inside their head.

These two books not only offer ways stay to connected to your kids but they also help you brush up on subjects you probably haven't used in a decade.

Bedtime Math: a Fun Excuse to Stay up Late by Laura Overdeck

Bedtime stories are a wonderful way for families to spend time together - and to get kids to learn to love books. The goal of Bedtime Math is to make math a fun, engaging part of children's lives and to make it as beloved as the bedtime story.

Each section starts with fun trivia about such topics as flamingos, bungee jumping, exploding food and team mascots. Then, there's an equally fun math problem - involving simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, logic and other math functions - that uses what you just read as "props". It's all such fun that you'll find yourself reading the book long after the children are asleep.

The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science: 50 Experiments for Daring Young Scientists by Sean Connolly

Despite the name, the experiments aren't really all that dangerous as long as you and the children follow the directions.

The book is like an archaeological dig through some of the greatest scientific breakthroughs in history. We start with Stone Age choppers and the discovery of fire, and go all the way through rocket launchers, lasers and DNA. Each experiment includes a brief explanation of what made the invention special, what it does and where the potential for catastrophe was.

The overviews are so entertaining (and educational) that you could theoretically quit right there. But why would you when you've got step-by-step instructions for how to replicate them? You'll have a blast - especially in the chapter about gunpowder.