(NBC News) – Studies have found students can lose more than a month of academic learning over the summer break. It’s a “brain drain” parents can minimize by taking advantage of free educational activities.
“Microsoft and Apple have programs so people can go and take classes over the summer and also during the year,” says Suzanne Kantra of Techlicious.com.
“Today at Apple” is a free program in Apple stores on 60 different topics ranging from coding to photography.
Microsoft offers “STEM” Saturdays in its retail stores, and Google’s “C-S First” online program aims to make it fun for kids to learn how to code.
“This is all about doing this through gaming and cartoons, things that are easy to process and digest,” explains Google’s LaToya Drake.
Khan Academy and Maker Camp also offer free learning programs online.
Still, not all screen time is created equal. Experts say parents should set summer limits for passive activities such as watching videos and keep a routine by setting a bedtime for kids and their devices.