Your child has worked hard all school year—the last thing you want is for him or her to lose ground over summer. Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center advises parents to keep their children learning over summer break to minimize regression and the loss of essential skills for next school year. “Children deserve a break over summer, but there are many simple things parents can do to minimize learning loss and keep their children’s minds sharp while school is out,” says Huntington. She offers several summer learning strategies:
Blend enrichment with recreation. Few children want to sit at a desk all summer with the books open. Summer should be about relaxation and exploration, so try to find ways to combine learning and fun. Field trips and outings to library events and activities are two easy options, but get creative. Pick educational themes for each week of summer and read articles, plan activities and play games within that theme. Take a road trip somewhere historic and do some advance reading and research as a family.
Do a little each day. Even as little as 15-20 minutes of daily academic practice can help children retain what they know in between school years. Check out workbooks that are designed to bridge learning between grades. Ask your child’s teacher for recommendations for math and reading. Or enroll your child in a flexible, individualized tutoring program at Huntington.
Work on projects. Project-based learning is an excellent way to apply knowledge and skills and keep the mind active over summer. There are many advantages of this student-centered method of learning: students learn to solve problems, explore topics thoroughly and find answers to questions through research. At home, you could pick a theme or topic and have your child come up with a list of things to investigate about that topic. Throughout the summer, encourage him or her to share what he or she learns. Let your child drive the work, but facilitate along the way.
Read for fun. Summer is the perfect time for children to explore books they don’t have the time to enjoy during the school year. Give your child the freedom to read whatever he or she likes this summer, and remember that magazines, blogs, comic books and child-appropriate websites are all fair game. Study after study shows that a daily summer reading habit prevents children from taking a step backward. As long as your child is reading, do not be too picky about the format or subject.
Huntington says that summer is a great time for children to continue learning in a more relaxed, self-directed way. “It’s important for children to recharge their batteries over summer break, but parents should nudge them off the couch and encourage them to explore their imaginations and engage in projects and learning opportunities with peers and siblings. A little structured work each day can make a tremendous difference in preventing brain drain too, and will make the start of next school that much easier.”
Huntington offers summer tutoring programs for all types of students—whether a child has fallen behind in one or more subjects or simply wants to stay up on his or her skills during the school break. Call the City Huntington at 1-800-CAN-LEARN or visit www.huntingtonhelps.com to learn more.
Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible. Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.
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