In the Works: How to make learning part of summer fun Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 May 2017
By Cinda Holloway
Special to GUIDON

It’s almost the time for school to end and summer to begin. Our children are anxiously awaiting the freedom that comes with not having to get up and go to school — freedom from classes, teachers, schedules, books, and most of all, having to learn.  

While we could all agree that taking time off is important, the extended summer vacation may not be as helpful for some children.  

Depending on a child’s learning style, some parents may notice their children begin to regress during summer vacation if they are not continually challenged to maintain reading, math and other academics. In addition, children may not have the opportunity to learn new educational skills if they are outside of a structured learning environment. This is especially true of the student who processes new information or educational concepts differently or has learning disabilities.  

So before summer vacation becomes  frustrating with not knowing how to help a child’s learning experience, here are a few parenting tips:

— Ask their teacher for some suggested “summer learning activities” to include worksheets, books or educational websites that will continually keep the child’s learning processes active.  

— Focus activities on areas your child  is struggling to help build their skills over  the summer.

— Set aside at least 15 minutes a day, depending on your child’s attention span and willingness to do the work, to provide structure and help them focus.

— Do the activities with your child to both spend time together with them and  help them know you support their experiences and  struggles.

— Select fun, exciting books to read with your children that stretch the mind and imagination, boost attention to detail, and encourage comprehension and logical thinking.

— Attend summer school to help reduce your child’s stress of learning new information and familiarize yourself  with new teachers, friends  and even new school  surroundings.

— Make learning fun by coming up with new games using words, spelling and math facts to identify things such as the number of blue cars in a parking lot.  

— Use extra time like riding in the car or going to the store to enjoy learning with your children. Going on vacations can also be learning times as the Family has a chance to not only ‘get away and relax,’ but they can also enjoy the new experiences, sights and sounds.

As the school year ends, try new ideas, relax and enjoy being a Family. You might be surprised at the knowledge, fun and growth both parents and children experience when doing things together.

(Editor’s note: Holloway is the Exceptional Family Member Program manager at Army Community Service.)

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 May 2017 )