Two weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of summer learning and the academic losses that occur when children don’t engage in summer learning activities. Parent involvement during the summer months is critical to student success. According to the National Education Association, “Parents who are actively involved in their children’s learning at home help their children become more successful learners in and out of school.” This week, I would like to provide some suggestions that may help busy parents keep students engaged in learning over the summer months. Listed below are a few ideas:
- Set time aside every day for reading and writing and visit the library frequently. Ask your child about the book or magazine they are reading. Why do they like the book? Who is their favorite character? As your child’s most important role model, it is essential that your child see your reading. Reading together or separately teaches children the importance and value of reading as a lifelong skill and hobby.
- Create opportunities for children to learn something new. For example, a great way to build vocabulary is to display a “word of the day” on the fridge. Ask children to use the new work correctly at least three times on the day it is displayed.
- Create a summer scrapbook. Save postcards and movie tickets and record family stories or interesting events from each day, whether you’re going on vacation or just going to your neighborhood park.
- Play games that involve reading, thinking, or spelling like Pictionary, Boggle, Scrabble, or Trivial Pursuit.
- Encourage your child to write. They can help you write grocery lists, “to do” lists, post cards, or letters. Children can also keep journals of summer activities or write tall tales about their vacation adventures. Many children become better readers through writing.
- Allow children to cook with you or if old enough, plan and cook a meal for the family on their own. Math skills such as measuring and fractions are reinforced when children use a cookbook and measuring cups.
- Play math games and practice math facts using flash cards or dice. Look for opportunities for students to practice math facts such as shopping trips or car trips.
Children that engage in learning activities over the summer start the new school year ready to learn. It is important that parents and caregivers daily reinforce the academic skills children gained during the school year. As always, if you have questions about our schools, please contact me at the Administrative Offices (237-6300) or through e-mail at Susan.Gunnell@huberheightscityschools.org.