I remember as a kid I could not wait for summer. The thought of just hanging out with my friends, cartoons, vacations, swimming, riding my cool bike (with the banana seat) and most of all NO SCHOOL! Alice Cooper even had a hit with writings of “Schools Out”, it was every kids anthem (I know your singing it in your head now as you read this, LOL). I also remember going to school and not remembering how to do anything! The teachers spent a good portion of first semester doing “refresher” classes just to get all the kids up to speed.
Kids now are under way more pressure than we were as kids. My Kindergarten class was basically eating cookies and milk with some songs thrown in before nap time. Now the kiddos are pre-reading and in some cases actually reading. By second grade they can even start multiplication. I was amazed what my older daughter in 5th and 6th grade would be working on. I had absolutely no clue on some of her homework! Seriously, I had to go to the Internet and just figure out what the heck they were talking about. I remember in 4th grade she was studying the periodic table! Darn if she wound up knowing the whole thing and what it all stood for! Crazy, these kids are seriously like a sponge. I cannot remember where I put down the remote, shows you the difference in my neuro synapses…
Bottom line the old saying if you dont use it you loose it. This is true. Not only for kids though, word puzzles, sudoku, and reading stimulate our old brain too and it is said to help ward off Alzheimers. I was watching some show a while ago and the doctor was saying that as adults we need to do things like puzzles to actually get our mind to think and figure out things. So were to do things that are hard and get those brain cells to fire. (I had a Grandmother with Alzheimers so anytime a Dr. says something to do, I will if I can keep that demon Alzheimers at bay)
Back to my original thought ;)
Kiddos go through what they call the “summer slide”. Back in a 2009 , Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said (in a government web cast) summer learning loss as “devastating.” They estimated that summertime breaks will cause the averagestudent to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected (Cooper, 1996). Researchers conclude that two-thirds of the 9th grade reading achievement gap can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school (from article by NY public library).
With this in mind how can you make a kiddo want to do school when they are not in school? Well Teachers and educators everywhere will tell you reading. Reading books over the summer will help tremendously. Dont forget the teens too! With the little kiddos make sure it is not to hard and not too easy. (remember the synapses need to keep on firing!) With kiddos you can find many ways to help them get some reading in. Have them read the directions on a game you play with them, read the recipe and how to bake or cook their favorite foods, print out directions to the park or somewhere your kiddo likes to go and have them read to you how to get there and of course comics cause they are a book in disguise!
I remember thinking the Archie comics were soo cool, who knew my Mom was being so sneaky!!
My little kiddo was and is a struggling reader and she can get frustrated when she reads. I found that when we are working on a more challenging reading book I will read a paragraph and then she will read one, this helps. Plus she likes when I get the really big ones and that is ok. My daughters teacher had read to the class some big time novels, they loved it. reading out loud stories that are a level or more harder for them is so great because not only does it build their listening and comprehension skills (it is good to pause at times and ask them questions of what you read or what a word can mean) it can help increase knowledge for words when reading on their own.
We as a family have had times where we just say every electronic thing OFF. Then we sit and read. Most of the time my older kiddo would bark but we just said too bad just do this and when you want to do something we will probably let you. (Notice the word probably-she usually does not notice my escape clause) Hey sometimes you have to play your parent card. Plus now and then she will be like “oh that, I read that book now they are making a movie” or “I have read harder books than you Mom”. Whatever that’s cool, as long as she has read I dont care if she thinks she is smarter than me..
My plan with my teen is to see what language she may be intreasted in and get two leaning ___ books and since she is so compettetive see who can learn it quicker and talk to each other. I think it would be cool to be able to say a few things to her and no one else in the family knows what were saying.. Hoping this will work with her..Will update…
My little kiddo needs to keep on her math skills. This can make for some interesting fun as a parent cause you cant really fake how math is fun- Seriously here folks, Math and fun? Well there are a lot of online free games that can somewhat make it more fun. The wonderful handouts that I have printed (sarcastic tone used) with math facts are just a joy. NOT.. With these I understand, not fun, but she needs the repetitive addition, subtraction, etc.. So with that I have her do half her age a day (she is 8 so 4 pages) and Yes I will bribe her. If she does it all at one sitting bonus!! It is over with. She can take it in the car and finish I do not care just do it.. Then I will do something SOO fun.. It works.. I go with it.. She benefits.. End of story..(these printouts are something her tutor at school gave me to do with her so I oblige)
Flash cards, the thought used to sends shivers down my kiddos spine… The one way I found that makes it more of a game is I spread them out on the floor, all over. I then say the word and she has to jump on the word, she loves this cause she has to search for the word then gets to jump and be silly. I have not done it with Math,But it is in the works for us. I guess it would work by saying the problem make them jump then answer and to advance this say the answer and make them jump to the problem. LOVE it and I know she will too.
Bottom line we need to foster the love of reading to our kiddos. Studies show how it helps old and young alike. Make it fun time and not a chore. Give incentive and let that seed blossom into something they will do for a lifetime. Our kids need the edge to help them why not give it.
Momma Says: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr. Seuss (He speaks the truth)