What parents can do over the summer to help their kids achieve new standards

Once school is out for summer, students tend to empty their brains of any elementary math knowledge they learned during the school year. This makes going back to school in the fall quite the adjustment. In fact, according to Ron Fairchild, executive director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning, teachers typically spend between four and six weeks at the beginning of each school year re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. While the teacher can’t be there to maintain learning over the summer months, there are things that parents and teachers alike can do to facilitate learning and help combat learning loss.

Good physical and mental health
In order for students to be at their best, continue to learn over the summer and be prepared for the school year, they must be in good physical and mental health. Parents should schedule doctor and dentist check-ups on a regular basis to be sure that their child is healthy. According to Mental Health America, good mental health allows children to think clearly, develop socially and even learn new skills. They should be getting nutritious food, plenty of physical activity, adequate sleep and immunizations to keep them healthy.

Replace TV with other activities
Instead of sitting in front of the TV all day everyday, children should be encouraged to participate in mentally stimulating activities. NASP Resources suggested having parents do puzzles, flashcards, coloring, reading or other quiet games with their children. This will help to ease the children into the learning process and keep their minds fresh and sharp over the summer. Keeping kids active and encouraging playtime can help promote creativity, enhance problem-solving skills and teach self control, according to the source.

Learn to love the library
Children with access to a local library have no excuse not to read over the summer! Libraries offer summer reading programs that keep students interested in learning and promote a love of reading. Just ask the librarian for book suggestions that will match your child’s grade level and incorporate his or her talents and interests.

Provide materials for parents
Teachers can help promote the learning process by providing parents and students with materials like summer books to read, math workbooks to complete or computer programs to play. Students can work on these things in between playtime or TV watching to keep their minds sharp and prevent loss of learning before the school year begins. TODAY suggested having parents motivate the child to complete a few problems a week from a workbook to keep it low-level and simple.