Summer Education Tips to Prepare Kids for Back to School – Many parents are concerned with continuing education for kids during summer vacation. Most children will benefit from exposure to educational activities to help maintain their skills and get them started on the right foot for Back to School come fall.
The big questions are how much, what and how? Keeping your children mentally sharp and prepared for school can be done in the summer months… with a little work and creativity.
I spoke with a local teacher to get some summer education tips to prepare kids for back to school. Here’s the Q&A and the summer education tips
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – How much time do you recommend that children invest into “summertime education” on a daily basis, and does it vary by grade level?
Teacher – I recommend that children in K-6 spend an hour on education daily, and children in grades 7-12 can do 2 hours. With that said, it very easy to fulfill this time with reading, writing, computer games, board games, card games.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – What are the suggested educational activities kids should work on during the summer break to best give them support come fall?
Teacher – During summer vacation, kids should be reading, writing and practicing math skills daily. Again, this is easy to achieve if parents are good at “hiding” it.
What I mean by this, is that parents can make a trip to the grocery store educational. Students can practice making and giving change. They can practice addition and subtraction math facts, story problems, counting coins/money etc. Parents can make a trip to the park a writing adventure. Kids can write about the Duck Monster or the Park Bear etc. Parents can make trips in the car educational by practicing telling time and elapsed time. The trip should take twenty minutes. If we leave at 3:15, what time will we arrive? If you get stuck at a traffic light, have kids watch the clock and add that on to the total time.
Take a trip to the library weekly. Have your child choose their own books to read. Make a goal on how many minutes or how many books or pages they can read. Chart their reading on a bar graph or sticker chart. Celebrate when the goal is reached.
Give your child a special journal to write their stories in. They can be detectives and answer questions they always wondered about. How does a bird build a nest? What time do frogs really begin to talk? In these journals, you can have them choose one thing a day to write about. If they write five sentences about going to the zoo… excellent!
Play board games/card games with your child. Again, education hidden. You can make a math lesson out of Monopoly or a reading lesson out of any games with the directions etc.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – What advice do you have for parents to keep the kids motivated and excited about doing educational activities in the midst of summertime fun?
Teacher – Little kids get excited a lot easier. They can make a trip to the park educational. Bring a book and have a picnic and read under a tree. With the reading, chart their summer reading and celebrate.
Most high school and middle school students will be motivated by celebrating and rewards. If your child writes a story, she can have movie night with her friends. If they read 400 minutes over the summer, they can have a sleepover etc. Rewards are key for summer education tips.
The teacher and I both agreed that online learning/computer games are great for math facts and more. This can be a good option for kids during the summer because it is entertaining and requires little involvement or expertise from parents.
Oakland County Moms dot com has reviewed several safe internet sites for kids, and has found many effective educational sites for a variety of grade levels. Show kids these sites, and let them choose which ones they want to play. These are very interactive and fun, kids don’t even know they are learning. A few of the many useful websites for kids include kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids, and CoolMathGames.com.
OCM also suggests playdate/group learning for summer education tips. If you’re in a neighborhood where there are several children, try working out a summer learning plan with the other families. For example, each day the kids can rotate from house to house. House 1 is for math games, House 2 is for the book club, etc. There are many online resources with game ideas, printable worksheets, quizzes and more. The kids enjoy this option because they are doing it with their friends. And, it can be very helpful for the parents to have one subject to focus on, instead of trying to manage all of them.
Below is a piece I was featured on for Fox2 from a couple of years ago on the summer education tips topic.
For more summer education tips, visit your local library!