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Keeping School Skills Through the Summer

I had an interesting conversation with a dear friend the other day.  She has been a teacher for many years.  While we were talking, she mentioned that the first couple of months of the school year are spent reviewing curriculum from the prior year because kids “lose it” over the summer.  Wow.  That fact really stuck with me.  I have an elementary aged child, so I asked her what I could do to keep my child’s skills up during the summer.  This is some of what she told me:

  • Plan to read out loud for 30 minutes a day (I blogged about this tip from another teacher a couple of months ago).  Either listen to your child read, or take turns reading.  Either way, it will benefit them.
  • Plan to review the math skills they acquired during the school year.  This is also a good time to play “catch up” if your child is a little behind.  If you aren’t sure how to keep your child’s math skills fresh, there are several online sites that provide printable worksheets.  There are also workbooks that help your child prepare for the next grade.  Check out books like this Summer Skills Daily Activity Workbook: Grade 2 (Flash Kids Summer Skills) Keeping School Skills Through the Summer to give your work time some structure.
  • Elementary kids can keep up their language and handwriting skills by keeping a journal or scrapbook.  Have them spend a few minutes each day writing about their favorite activity.  Aside from helping them maintain writing skills, it will be a wonderful memory when they are older! 
  • Establish a consistent time for activities.  Read when younger kids are napping.  Workbook or journal time are a great way to make sure that kids have some quiet time during the day.  Scrapbooking is a handy activity for rainy days… just remember to stock up on some supplies ahead of time.
  • Remember to make it FUN!  Contact your local library branch about story times.  Younger kids can enjoy the story while older kids look for a new book to bring home.  Practice math skills by baking a batch of cookies from scratch.

Taking the time to help your kids with their school skills over the summer also gives you an idea of your child’s academic strengths and areas that need help.  You will be able to discuss your observations with his or her teacher and help improve your child’s skills.  Investing about an hour a day over the summer can make the next school year a great experience for your child.

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