parent engagement

Six Ways Parents Can Help Kids Learn Over the Summer Break

Summer is not just a two-month countdown to sending the kids back to school. You only get 18 summers total with your “babies,” and half of those will be stolen away or occupied by growing pains, such as choosing fun with friends over fun with family, and the inevitable “I’m getting too old for this stuff” attitudes that arrive younger and younger these days.

Here are my “Six Summer Tips” for parents. Just some ways to enjoy the time with your kids, while sustaining their learning over the summer break. Try a few, and I’m betting the time will pass easier.

  • Teacher Appreciation: Though this technically happens in May, it is the culmination of a cooperative bond that we three shared. Gift cards are nice, but honestly, a simple drawing from your student or hand-written card from the heart with thanks really means so much to the teacher. And you and your child get to do it together!
  • Buy a Workbook: Walmart, Target and even the Dollar Store sell practice workbooks. Buy one for the level your child just completed and one for the level they are entering in the fall. This allows for independent review and a little guided challenge.
  • Watch Fun Educational Programming: PBS offers an array of programs geared to a range of age groups that teach social skills, reading skills, math and science, problem-solving and much, much more!
  • Download Learning Apps: Make screen time count with interactive games that extend your child's learning practice in a technological world. Start with ABC Mouse and starfall.com.
  • Summer Camps: Look for camps that offer both physical and educational activities. Themed camps, such as science camps, are lots of fun! Check online to see what is offered in your community.
  • Teach Without Teaching: Read a story and ask questions to check for understanding, play car games like “I Spy” and “20 Questions," sing learning songs from a playlist instead of the regular radio, use sidewalk chalk to write and spell outside, let your kids help you with chores by sorting laundry, making grocery lists or seeking, finding and counting objects around the house.

Have a great summer. Remember…August will be here before you know it!

A version of this post originally appeared on Citizen Education as 6 Tips for Teachers and Parents for a Successful Summer Break.
Melissa Bagneris
Melissa Bagneris is a kindergarten teacher at Washington Elementary STEM School in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana where she is an active member of the school-wide positive behavior initiative system. She has been a participant teacher, as well as a lead teacher, in both the TAP and KAP summer readiness programs, and previously served as a remediation teacher for kindergarten through second grade at ...

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