Summer Learning For Easy Back To School Transitions
The summer is a wonderful time for children and parents to have fun, enjoy the great outdoors, and spend some time away from the daily routine of school. However, by incorporating some activities and structured learning opportunities parents can help kids stay sharp and avoid losing some of the learning they accomplished in the past school year.
It is estimated by the National Summer Learning Association that children can lose as much as two months of grade level equivalency in math over the summer, and many children also struggle more with reading in the fall. In addition, children of all grade levels score worse in September on the same test given before the end of the previous school year. Parents can work to avoid this by encouraging their children to keep reading and using their math skills.
Some simple ways to keep math, problem-solving and reading as part of the summer routine include:
- Set a daily reading time for the whole family. This can be 20 minutes or more a day when everyone reads without interruption and exception. Modeling reading is one of the most important factors in developing an appreciation for reading for your children.
- Incorporate math into activities including measuring for cooking (fractions), making purchases (addition and subtraction), flash card drills for all operations as well as other types of daily math activities.
- Kids can be given a math activity page and be provided with points for completion and correct answers. You can choose to give stickers or points. Even more fun is to have the points build up to a grand total and the family goes together on a picnic, to the zoo, or any other interactive type of event.
- Encourage children to write stories about their summer events, or to create small chapter books they can share with siblings and friends. They can draw, color and decorate the books, and they can become treasured keepsakes.
There are also some great free resources online that offer games by grade levels. Fun websites for math include www.mathplayground.com and www.softschools.com.