School is out! Now what? It’s time for some fun in the sun! Playtime is very important in the lives of our children, but we also need to give attention to our kids' academic growth. In academics, like sports, we need to keep practicing. This will help retain those skills learned throughout the school year and maybe even continue to improve and excel. Writing, for example, is a technique that needs practice. To take two months off of writing (or reading, or math, etc.) would compromise the great growth that happened during the school year.
What can a parent do to make sure their child exercises their writing abilities over the summer? Here are a 5 ways to keep those writing muscles strong…
Go to a local school supply store and grab a journal for your child so they can write in it throughout the summer. Pick themes or topics where they can add an entry each day or at least 3-5 times a week. When your child wakes up, serve some breakfast, and then have them open up the day with writing a journal entry.
They may need some help, so assign them something to write about, such as, “What is your favorite holiday and why?” This does not have to be a long writing exercise, it could be a couple of sentences. Encourage them to draw a picture beside the journal entry, as well. Before our children learned to write, they connected thoughts, words and images together. Illustrating and writing are both instrumental in exercising the creative mind.
Many children love writing books. Pull together some construction paper and card stock. Grab a stapler and hole punch and some colored pencils and markers. Add some stickers and yarn and let your child run wild in their imagination to create their own book. There is nothing better than giving children an outlet to express themselves.
As they create their story page by page, with words and pictures, guide and encourage them to keep going. This could be a project that continues throughout the summer. When they're finished, bind them together by stapling them, or hole punch the edges and use yarn to tie up the ends.
3. SUMMER CAMPS
Summer programs are another great opportunity for your child to engage in academics. There are many camps and programs available where they can practice math, reading, writing, and science. These camps can both exercise and prepare your child for the following school year. Most summer programs include fun activities and chances to break-up the class-like environment.
For a more intensive workout with writing or reading or any subject matter, there is always the possibility of hiring a tutor. You may find one that will come to your home, or you can visit them at their location. With one-on-one quality time, the tutor will be able to assess your child's needs and focus on the skill set that requires the most attention. Some parents continue with tutors throughout the school year, as well.
Writing isn’t possible without reading. Reading inspires writing, which increases knowledge, assists in learning about a genre, builds vocabulary, and offers guidance with grammar, punctuation and writing techniques.
Many libraries have reading contests over the summer that give the children an opportunity to earn prizes along the way. Place books in front of your children and encourage them to read what they love. The more they read, the better they will write.
Summer is for fun and having time off from a daily routine of learning. Fun in the sun could also include a book, a pencil and a piece of paper where the mind is exercised as well as the body.
Just keep writing!