Summer is a learning opportunity

By MORGAN GRIFFITH, Federal Way Sylvan Learning Center

For most children, summer is a time to leave classes and homework behind. However, when they return to school in the fall after the long summer break, students can find themselves struggling to catch up. After a month without reinforcement, approximately 80 percent of what a student has learned can be lost.

For children who have been struggling at school, summer can be their opportunity to catch-up on key skills and feel more confident when they head back to class. For students who do well, it’s an opportunity to keep their enthusiasm for learning high. Parents can play a key role in reinforcing learning on an ongoing basis. The following tips will help parents integrate learning into fun, family activities all summer long:

• Read with your child. Read books together with your children and ask questions about the plot and characters.

• Search for reading activities on the Internet and create a reading list. There are an abundance of sites that provide summer reading lists for children.

• Plan a field trip. Research and plan a trip to an interesting site close to home — an historic site, a museum, the zoo, etc. — and discuss it afterward.

• Find pen pals. Encourage your child to write notes and letters to family members and friends as a way of practicing writing.

• Plan a meal together. Helping mom or dad with the regular grocery shopping and meal preparation creates opportunities to use math skills such as making change, weighing fruits and vegetables, etc.

• Visit the library. Libraries can recommend books appropriate for your child’s reading level and interests, and many libraries offer free children’s programs.

• Keep a journal. Give your child an empty notebook to keep a summer journal. Regular entries will keep writing skills active.

• Summer enrichment programs. Enroll your child in a summer camp or enrichment program in the community.

Morgan Griffith is the Center Director at the Federal Way Sylvan Learning Center, 32717 1st Ave. S.: (253) 838-0507.

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