There's only about one month of school left for the kids, which means summer break is on it's way, but the kids don't have to stop learning just because school is out. Now is a great time for parents to prepare the kids for the transition of heading to the next grade, or to include continual learning year round.
Learning doesn't have to stop outside of the classroom; when parents show their children that they're continually learning in the everyday tasks that they do, they're more likely to do will in school.
Audrey and Sarah from Sylvan Learning Center share some tips on how parents can help kids make the transition to summer learning, and how they can prepare for the next school year.
Make the most of the final weeks of school.
- You can help your children review by asking them to show you what they've learned or by working through homework problems together.
- Schedule a last meeting or discussion with your child’s teacher. Identify successes and challenges.
- Help your child stay motivated about school so he gains the full benefit of his final days in the classroom by putting a reward system in place.
- Have a conversation every day about school.
Know what the next grade level will bring.
- Speak to your child's current teacher or a teacher in the next grade about the upcoming curriculum.
- Ask about new subjects and changes in focus. For example, in 4th grade, students usually begin to “read to learn” rather than “learn to read.” If your 3rd grade student is struggling with her reading, this summer would be a good time to focus on improving reading skills.
- If the next year will mean a change in schools -- such as entering high school -- take advantage of orientation sessions where you and your child can learn more about the new school.
Let your kids be kids.
- Summer vacation is a great tradition. It's important to enjoy the time off. But, you can also learn as you have fun. In fact, the best learning occurs when children don't realize they're learning.
- Parents can design summer vacation activities that are both fun and educational. For example: If you know your child will be studying history next year, visit local historical sites, or borrow historical books and/or novels from your local library.
- Continue reading throughout the summer. Visit a local library where they can help you select books appropriate for your child's age and interest.
- Develop writing skills by writing or emailing pen pals.
Sylvan Learning Center has seven West Michigan locations. To find one near you, go to sylvanlearning.com or call 1-888-EDUCATE.