The sun is shining, the middle of the school semester has come and gone, and that means summer vacation is just around the corner. Keeping your children physically and mentally active during their break helps instill the behavior of a lifelong learner and helps them make a smooth transition into the next semester, grade, and/or school. One statistic shows:
Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996).
Below is a list of suggestions to keep your kids busy, learning, and having fun this summer to avoid becoming part of the statistic.
- Stay active Check with your local parks and recreation centers to learn about summer activities they offer for youth. Also, take advantage of your surrounding landscape and go hiking, swimming, running, biking, etc. Teach your kids about their environment, whether its rock formations on your surrounding mountain ranges or trees along the coast, and maybe you’ll learn something too!
- Get brainy Scan the internet and stores for fun puzzles, mind games, mazes, and riddles. Encourage them to solve a problem a day whether it’s during the commercial breaks of their favorite TV show or a set time dedicated to summer brain teasers.
- Take them grocery shopping Take your kids to the grocery store and ask them to add the prices of all the products that fall into the grocery cart before arriving at the checkstand. Shopping can be a great opportunity to keep math skills sharp and to teach your child about budgeting.
- Read Show the importance of reading by example. Do you read the paper in the morning or at night? Sit in the afternoon sun with a novel? Invite your child to read with you. Some cheap alternatives to buying books new are: trade your books after each read at a used bookstore, check one out from the library, download an electronic reader to your computer and download free e-books, borrow from a friend or purchase at a discount price on websites like Amazon.
- Sign them up for a summer program There are a variety of summer programs for children designed to help them further excel in a talent or interest, learn something new, or get them ready for the next semester. This summer, LifeBound is offering a Virtual Summer Prep series to help middle school students learn the skills they need to make a successful transition into high school. These virtual classes will be offered in June and July to teach your child skills like time management, goal-setting, and stress-management, among many others. If you’re interested in “Success Habits for Transition to High School” click here for more program and registration information.
Stay tuned for the rest of this semester as I share success tips for finishing the semester strong, acing finals, and keeping active during the summer months. Please share any tips you have to keep students learning during the summer and any topics you would like to see in an upcoming blog!