Between camps, family vacations and beach days, fitting in time for learning activities can be a struggle. We’ve outlined the most important skills for children of different ages and stages to practice over the summer, so they’ll be ready to conquer the new school year.
Find The Connection
Read books that relate to your child’s summer activities, travel and family life. After visiting a museum, you might read a book about Ancient Egypt or during a camping trip read a story about bears. You can also involve your older children in planning your summer holiday by researching on the Internet. Not only will connecting experiences and books help to grow your child’s vocabulary, it will help them to further understand new concepts.
Take On Challenges
Whether it’s making sandwiches for the family, packing their own bag for a sleepover, or creating a structure that will hold a certain weight, continually challenge your child over the summer months. Optimal learning takes place just outside of what a child can comfortably do on their own. This practice will help your child learn to manage their frustrations with you as their best cheerleader and at the end of the summer, they’ll be more prepared to face the challenges of a new year of learning.
Foster Their Ideas
It’s not uncommon for young children to freeze up and not know what to say when asked to write at school. You can help encourage and validate their ideas by keeping a summer journal to record their thoughts about an activity, glue a special keepsake (e.g., a ticket stub), and remember their feelings. If your child isn’t yet writing, encourage them to draw a picture and tell you what it’s about. Write their exact words under their work. The journal will be great bedtime reading.
Read In Your Home Language
The skills learned in your child’s home language are transferable to their second language learning. It helps your child build fluency, their vocabulary and a connection to their own culture. While reading stories, talk about the book with your child by asking questions about what is happening and what they think will happen next.
Games of all kinds help children learn to follow rules and grow their ability to be good sports when winning or losing. The skills learned through playing games will help them during collaborative work in the classroom and to be a good friend to their peers.