The Lazy Days Of Summer

The Lazy Days Of Summer

"Summertime is great", exclaimed one fifth grader. "It's like a whole bunch of Saturdays", added his sister. "Yeah", said a friend, “No school and you get to sleep late!" Every year as school work winds down and the weather warms up, millions of youngsters grow excited.

The pressure of finishing projects and taking tests is small payment for the pleasures ahead. The month of June, like Fridays for us adults, is sweet with anticipation.

Yet we all know about too much of a good thing. Sun, fun, and leisure lose their allure along about the second week of July. Time starts to hang heavily and parents begin to hear the standard moan "There's nothing to do...".

Studies show that approximately 80 percent of what children have been taught in school is lost within a month, unless that knowledge is reinforced quickly and continuously. Therefore, summer is an ideal time to expose children to various types of learning activities. Parents should interact with their children by taking aside some time for summer reading. Reading requires exercise for proficiency just as physical skills do. The more one practices, the stronger and easier the skill becomes.

Visit the library with your child or ask the teacher to provide you with a list of recommended books to read over the summer so your child will retain the reading skills learned during the school year.

Summer is also great time to expose children to various types of non-fiction reading. For example, cookbooks, game instructions, newspapers, and magazines relate everyday activities to reading and make it fun. But perhaps the best result of children's summer reading experiences is that children learn to view reading as an activity they can choose to do for personal pleasure.

Another thing you can do is to purchase a special journal/diary for the summer. On a daily or weekly basis set time for journal entries. It is a great way to practice writing skills and have a fantastic keepsake for years to come.

For reinforcement of math skills set aside one night a week as Kids Cook Night. Allow children to select a simple menu. Help them purchase the ingredients and budget the cost. Then, with limited assistance, allow them to cook the meal. This will give them experience with measurements, reading, and following directions.

Museums, zoos, and galleries are also vital sources of information and many have special showings and children's activities during the summer. Check for a schedule of special events.

If you are taking a vacation, allow children to map out directions and orally direct you as you travel.

Video stores and libraries are also a wealth of educational resources. Set aside one night a week to watch movies about historical people or world events. This can provide a rich opportunity that allows history to come alive to young people. Recommendations include "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman", "Anne of a Thousand Days", "Roots", and "Pearl Harbor".

And, of course, there are always supplemental educational programs and summer camps that you can enroll your child in.


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