Studies show how much kids lose ground over the summer. However, kids don’t have to lose over the summer. In fact, you can encourage your kids to have a summer of fun and learning these five easy tips.
1. Read Every Day
Research shows that reading four to five books over the summer has a positive impact on fall reading achievement comparable to attending summer school (Kim, 2004). Take your kids to the library often and let them choose which books to check out. Subscribe them to a magazine or book subscription service. Take turns reading to each other. Allow your kids to stay up a half hour later as long as they are reading.
2. Use Math Everyday
The largest summer reading losses for all children occur in mathematics, an average of 2.6 months (Cooper, 1996). Our suggestion is to practice, practice, practice. Make it fun with games. Practice multiplication tables by making each point in a basketball game, or any game you play worth 6 points (or 7 or 8, etc.). Ask your kids to make change at the drive=thru or the store. Make up math word problems in the car and/or at the dinner table.
3. Get Outside and Play
Intense physical activity programs have positive effects on your child’s academic achievement, including increased concentration; improved mathematics, reading, and writing test scores (Journal of School Health 1997). Ensure your child stays active for at least 60 minutes each day. Have him or her walk the dog, go swimming, play tennis or soccer, take walks, go for a family bike ride. Participate on charity sports event such as 5K or Fun Runs.
4. Write Every Week
More freshmen entering postsecondary institutions take remedial writing courses than take remedial reading courses (NCES 2003). Ask your child to write a weekly letter to his or her grandparents, relatives, or friends. Encourage your child to keep a summer journal. Have your child write the family’s grocery list.
5. Do a Good Deed
Children learn better when they are engaged in activities to aid their social emotional development such as community service (The Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning, 2004). Encourage your child to help out neighbors or friends. He or she can volunteer with a local group or complete a service learning project. Suggest that your child set aside part of his or her allowance for charity and have your child choose the charity to donate.
ATTENTION SUMMER READING CHALLENGERS
For a prize entry for our free Disney tickets giveaway, comment below with (a) additional tip of your own, (b) your experience with any of the five easy tips above, or (c) which, if any, are you planning of using this summer.
Adapted from a presentation by Brenda McLaughlin, Director of Research and Policy, Center for Summer Learning, Johns Hopkins University and Jane Voorhees Sharp, Office of Early Care and Education, New Jersey Department of Human Services.