Should I have my child continue some type of academic program over the summer? This is a question many parents ponder, and the answer is a resounding yes! No matter if your child is struggling or excelling academically, keeping him or her engaged in the learning process over the summer is the most effective way to ensure a smooth transition back to school in the Fall. While summer is a time for kids to be active and carefree, one or two hours a week of fun, engaging, interactive learning is a great way to keep your child excited about the learning process.
Many think of summer review as planned structured blocks of time where the parent and child sit together reviewing lessons. While structured lessons are beneficial, you can also incorporate learning into everyday events, such as a trip to the grocery store. For example, start by having your child write out the shopping list. Upon arrival, ask him to comb the aisles for the groceries. Finally, have him count out the money needed to purchase the items. By doing this small exercise, your little one will have utilized math, reading, writing and critical thinking skills in one short visit to the grocery store.
Other non-structured learning activities include video and computer games that require reading and critical thinking skills. Another idea is to start a book club for your child and his friends. It’s a great way to keep him excited about reading over the summer!
Of course, not all parents have the time or patience to work with their children over the summer, while others realize their children need assistance beyond their scope of expertise. In cases such as these, hiring a tutor is the best option.
Choose your tutor wisely. First and foremost, you want to make sure he or she is a certified educator who has all of their clearances and is and expert in their respective field/subject area. If your child is in need of a Wilson certified reading tutor, then a general reading specialist is not the best fit. In addition to their academic credentials, you want to be sure they are a match in terms of personality and demeanor. If your child is shy and introverted, you want to make sure the tutor is able to draw them out and engage them. If they have a short attention span or trouble focusing, you want someone who has experience in fostering concentration and listening skills.
Whether you decide to hire a tutor or work with your child yourself, a mix of structured review along with fun interactive learning is the best recipe for summer learning success!
Yolanda is the mom of 3 young children in the Delaware Valley. She is the Founder of Team Tutor.