By Sara Osborne
Warmer temperatures and longer days are building excitement for students and their families as summer approaches. We’re all eager for a change of pace and a break from the burn-out often associated with the end of the school year, yet we worry about our kids losing their skills over the summer. This need not be the case, however, if parents consider the many creative opportunities for their kids to continue learning over the summer. While the possibilities are virtually endless, this week we are sharing a few suggestions for continuing your child’s learning over the summer break. Today we take a look at Reading, Writing, and Grammar. (Check back the rest of this week for other topics—Mon: Math; Tue: Science; Thurs: History/Geography; Fri: Latin and Other Languages).
Use the extra freedom of summer to get creative with words! From silly to serious, there are plentiful opportunities for reading and writing practice outside of the classroom.
- Fluency: Set reading goals with your child, and encourage him or her to read as much as possible! Don’t forget about the benefits of audiobooks as well as regular print books.
- Sneaky Grammar: Encourage younger students to read books which emphasize grammar concepts covertly. Look for books by children’s authors such as Ruth Heller, who has created beautifully illustrated children’s books which focus on nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, etc…. (Heller has also written beautiful books about mammals and plants!)
- Mad Libs: Keep these handy for car rides, family trips, or rainy days, and encourage grammar identification.
- Letter Writing: A lost art for many, letter writing is a simple yet personal way to encourage grammar and penmanship practice. Encourage your child to be intentional about his or her recipients. Is there an elderly relative or community member your child could encourage through letter writing?
- Newsletter: Encourage your child to create a newsletter detailing family trips, sporting events, and other summertime activities. Alternately, create a newsletter for your extended family or neighborhood. Design the newsletter using computer software to add to the challenge.