I am totally enjoying the warm weather and looking forward to the opening of our community pool. Your children may be counting the days until summer, providing them with free time to do what they want. No doubt, summer break is important, giving children an opportunity to relax, enjoy the outdoors, travel, hang with friends, and pursue their interests.
I’m sure you have heard about summer slide. If your children do nothing to sharpen their academic skills for 2.5 months, in September they will more than likely be academically behind where they are now. Luckily, it is easy to keep up and even enhance skills in a fun way.
1. At the end of the school year, Talk to your child’s teachers about how they are progressing and which academic skills need sharpening this summer.
2. Incorporate reading for fun into your family’s routine.
- Check out the summer reading program at your public library.
- Encourage your children to read whatever they want, including graphic novels.
- Explore non-fiction books and articles that match your child’s interests and passions.
- Read how-to books about topics of interest, and then do them (eg. building and gardening)
- Have a family reading schedule.
- Start a summer book club with friends or family members.
- Need help encouraging your children to read? Read this recent article from Attention Magazine.
3. Visit historic sites
(eg. Mt. Vernon
to learn about George Washington or Gunston Hall
to learn about George Mason) First research information about the site online.
4. Experience live theatre (“Hamilton” is playing at The Kennedy Center this summer – ticket prices
start at $59. First research the history of Hamilton and become familiar with the lyrics.)
5. Review math
- Practice math facts in the car, or wherever. (+, -, x, /)
- Make up word problems – they aren’t done enough at school, and you can make them creative.
- Use math in real life (eg. Recipes, measurement)
- Everyday Math Activities Kids Can Do at Home
6. Practice Writing
- Send letters or emails to grandparents
- Write a short story, play, or song
- Use humor and drawings
- Collaborate with friends
7. Schedule math review and reading time every week.
8. For weak academic areas, get a tutor to fill in gaps and be ready for the next school year.
By Cheryl Gedzelman, President, Tutoring For Success, Inc.