09 May 2023

Summer Learning: Include a Bit of Reading, Writing, and Math in your Summer Planning

     Summer is a time all students look forward to – freedom from the school routine, time to sleep late, relax, vacation, and have fun. When planning your summer, make sure to include some learning to prevent summer slide.
     I’m sure you have heard about summer slide. If your children do nothing to sharpen their academic skills for over two months, by late August 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.  Meet with teachers: Before summer break, talk to your child’s teachers about how they are progressing and which academic skills need sharpening this summer.
2.  Reading for pleasure is the best way to keep academic skills sharp. In school, good reading skills apply to every single subject, even math. Reading should be a whole family effort.
  • Make regular trips to the library or book store.
  • Do not pressure your children to read “literature” or anything in particular. Encourage them to read whatever they want, including graphic novels, articles online, and short stories.
  • 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 (e.g. building a bird house or gardening).
  • Have a family reading schedule, when everyone sits down together to read their own thing.
  • Listen to recorded books together. This is perfect for summer road trips.
  • Pick out a book by a favorite author, and read it every day – outside, in the car, or wherever you are.
  • Check out websites like this one from Scholastic: The Best Middle Grade Books of the Year (2023)
3.  Visit historic sites (e.g. Mt. Vernon to learn about George Washington, Gunston Hall to learn about George Mason, or Monticello to learn about Thomas Jefferson).
4.  Experience history through live theatre: “1776” is playing at The Kennedy Center this summer, and ticket prices start at $45. “This new production of the Tony Award–winning musical re-examines a pivotal moment in American history with a cast that reflects multiple representations of race, gender, and ethnicity.” Kennedy Center
5.  Review math
  • Practice math facts in the car, or wherever. (+, -, x, /)
  • Make up funny and challenging word problems – they aren’t done enough at school, and you can make them creative. Or find worksheets online. Zoning in on areas that need improvement, ask your child to work on math for just 20 minutes a few days per week.
  • Use math in real life (e.g. Recipes, measurement)
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.  Get help: For weak academic areas, a tutor can help your child fill in gaps and be ready for the next school year.
Imagine your child on a slide going up. Make your children’s academic skill reinforcement a priority!  To sign up for summer tutoring on a flexible schedule, click here.
By Cheryl Gedzelman, President

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