Teachers, students and parents all look forward to summer vacation. Well… at least teachers and students do! Summer vacation is an opportunity for teachers to become re-energized, relax and to just release all the pent up stress from the school year. In the minds of most students, the summer months are a time for them to have fun, fun and more fun. From an educational standpoint, two months is a long time for students to be completely free from any exposure to reading, writing and arithmetic.
There are many ways that parents can help students hone these skills for the upcoming school year, in ways that are fun and relatively inexpensive or FREE! Writing is an area that many students at all levels struggle with. The familiar cry from students from the elementary to secondary levels tends to be “I don’t know what to write about”. Encouraging students to write about things or places that they are experiencing during the summer are a great way for them to practice writing descriptive, narrative or persuasive essays. For example, one of everyone’s favorite summertime activities is eating ice cream. Instead of just allowing students to eat the ice cream and move on with the rest of their day, parents could ask students to write a review and to create a poster advertising their favorite ice cream flavor. Another activity could be to ask students to write an essay that would persuade their parents to allow them to have an ice cream party. Another way that students can hone their writing skills is by writing a review of a place that they have visited, such as a restaurant or amusement park.
There are plenty more exercises parents can do with their child to practice other skills. Most businesses have websites that encourage visitors to detail their experiences with their products or services. This gives students real world experience that they can use in the future. Math skills can be put to work in a fun way by allowing students to help with grocery shopping and budgeting, by computing the price of items after a coupon has been applied. Instead of relying on a GPS, parents can enlist the help of students by having them read a map and the directions to a particular destination. For most people summer vacation means fun, and it should be a fun time for students, teachers and parents. However, summer activities should include opportunities for students to work on, hone, and refine academic skills that they will need for success in the upcoming school year. Summertime living can be easy and educational!!!
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