I had the pleasure of attending a workshop my daughter gave on behalf of the Military Child Education Coalition, a nonprofit that helps parents and their kids to stay on top of their education through the many moves the children encounter with their parents being in the Military. This information is for all children, not just the ones who have military parents.
This workshop was for parents to gain information to keep their children engaged during the summer months out of school…Preventing the “Summer Slide”. Did you know that Children lose 25% of their reading skills if not encouraged to keep reading through the summer and they lose 2.6 months of their math skills too?
There are several easy ways to keep the kids engaged in learning. One is by allowing them to help you cook and by doing so, they earn allowances to purchase the items they want. This teaches the principle of counting change too! If traveling, play games by looking for letters in the alphabet on road signage, license plates, etc. The different state license plates can keep them engaged for many miles. If going on a vacation, ask them to research the area and learn what there is to see and do.
Set aside “DEAR” time for everyone….Drop Everything And Read. Pick a book that the entire family can read together and let everyone take turns reading out loud. Family trips to the library are a great FREE field trip! Some Public libraries are allowing you to download to your selections on the Kindle™ for free also. Barnes & Noble Bookstore offers a summer reading program for kids (grades1-6). Check out their website for more information and let them earn a “free” book.
Limit the amount of TV, video and computer time each day for the kids and encourage them to go outside.
There are many good websites that are educational and will benefit all kids to keep learning during that Summer Break. Check out:
- www.storybird.com – they can create their own stories and do illustrations
- www.storyonline.net – great books are read online to listener in a slow & entertaining way
- www.mathcounts.org – weekly problems for summertime math activities
- www.mathmovesu.com- for middle school students.
Hope this helps your children climb the tree of higher learning and not fall into a “Summer Slide” -ENJOY!
Images courtesy of Jeanette Hussey.