As a kid, summer was the best part of school, right? Those three long months with no schedule, no bedtime, and no homework! I loved staying out after dark and sleeping in. What I never thought about as a kid was whether I was actually losing ground educationally speaking. (Actually, when I switched schools in fifth grade, my new school had a summer reading list complete with essay questions so maybe I didn’t lose as much those summers!)
Once I started my teaching career, summers took on a whole new flavor! I still loved having that free, no schedule time but I actually began to realize how much students lose over the summer. First, there was always the frustration of getting back into the swing of school – that usually took most of September. Then there was the two months spent reminding them about the things they had learned last year but forgotten because they hadn’t used those skills over the summer. I instantly became a fan (at least in theory) of year round school.
Year round school probably isn’t going to become a reality anytime soon around here. Summers are hot and humid and the schools are not air conditioned. Having my own 4th grader now, I realize that it really is up to me to make sure that his skills stay sharp over those summer months. Luckily, there is a product on the market that can help with that and the best part is it’s fun, so your kids don’t feel like they are practicing skills!
Who could have come up with such a cool idea? Well, you put together a guy with a background in entertainment and a gal with a background in education and you get a fun adventure called Brain Chase! Let me tell you a bit about how it works:
Brain Chaise is a 5-week online summer learning challenge for 2nd through 8th graders that consists of a massive global treasure hunt. (No worries, there isn’t any actual travel involved unless you win.) The student solves the hunt using clues discovered by using reading, math, and writing. It’s personalized to your own student and they receive feedback from real, live teachers on the writing that they do. At the end of the treasure hunt, one student will win a trophy and $10,000 scholarship. (Right? I know!!)
Parents get weekly progress reports and students get 5 weeks of structured challenges on external reading and math websites and exclusive access to an original animated adventure series loaded with hidden puzzles and clues. Plus, students receive three physical adventure tools they can hold and use to help solve the special bonus challenge. How much fun is that??
This year’s challenge:
The 2015 Brain Chase challenge is to find the Sunstone of Cortés, a mysterious calendar stolen from the Aztec empire by Hernan Cortés in the 1500s. Kids join Mae Merriweather, her brother Max, athletic Sean Drake, and former nemesis Savannah Bryce to find the fictional Sunstone of Cortés… and the real one! Here’s a video preview of the challenge:
Here’s exactly how it works:
- START THE CHASE
At 9 a.m. ET on Monday, June 22, 2015, Brain Chase: The Sunstone of Cortés begins. Adventurers log in to watch the first animated webisode and meet Mae Merriweather, the star of the show. Then they dive into their first week of learning challenges. A proprietary (patent pending) learning management system – the “Dashboard” – tracks each student’s progress as they journey through the 5-week challenge.
- UNLOCK THE ADVENTURE
Each week the adventurers have four tasks: read for 15 minutes per day, write one journal entry, earn 10,000 points on Khan Academy, and do one bonus challenge. When they’re done, they unlock the next webisode, which contains hidden pictures, numbers, and riddles to help them guess the treasure’s location.
- FOLLOW THE STORY
Mae Merriweather and her friends from the Grayson Academy of Antiquities are hot on the trail the mysterious Sunstone of Cortés. To find it, they travel to the Himalayas, dive off the coast of Greece, and solve riddles. But there is more to the quest — and treasure — than they realize.
- FIND THE BURIED TREASURE
The hunt for the Sunstone isn’t just fiction – there is a real golden Sunstone of Cortés and $10,000 buried somewhere on Earth. Every 24 hours, adventurers can log in to enter their guess of the treasure’s location. The first adventurer to guess the location within a two-mile radius travels with his/her family to the treasure site to claim the gold.
The folks at BrainChase want to offer a special deal just for WisconsinMommy readers!
I have a free membership to give away and a 15% off code for all of my other readers. Just use the code WIMOMMY15 when you complete your registration, and Brain Chase will knock 15% off your bill.