Consumer Alert: Preventing summer brain drain without breaking the bank

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – This consumer alert is all about summer brain drain and your wallet. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, your kids can lose a third of a year’s learning over the summer. And academic camps can really bust your budget. I have three kids; I’ve sent them all to math camp in the past. And a week of math camp multiplied by three kids is one scary equation.

As a consumer investigator, I’m always looking for ways to enhance summer learning for free. So I chatted with our AT&T tech guru, Jason Komenski.  He pointed me toward the

AT&T has collaborated with more than a dozen education organizations like Khan Academy and Girls who Code and created a free site for parents and kids in K-12. I created an account for my son to work on math word problems, the bane of his middle school existence. And rather than bore him with mommy math problems, the site teaches the problem-solving process with a nifty tutorial involving drones and a twenty-something tutor who is far more cool than mom.  And Komenski says the best part is that it’s free.

“  You can download the app.  You can go on the website,” said Komenski.  “Lessons are there in English. They’re there in Spanish. They’re in all of your favorite subjects like math, science, social studies, history. So we can have a good time learning, and we can obtain and retain that information that we learned at school and not lose it while we’re hanging out during summer break.”

There are also all kinds of games you can play and create, making these learning tech games ideal for road trips. I plan to challenge my middle schooler to a word problem tournament, and I’ll put some skin in the game. If he wins, I’ll take over his chores for a week. Now that’s motivation! Mom will take over trash duty.

If you can’t afford internet access, you may be eligible for the federal ACP, the Affordable Connectivity Program. It provides free or lower cost internet access to low-income families. Click here to see if you qualify.