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Summer is here, and both children and adults look forward to a break from the structured routines of the school year. But just because school is out doesn't mean that parents and kids should stop learning.
In general, parents should use the summer months to learn about their children's new school situation. That may simply be finding out who the new teacher is and what the expectations are for the next grade. Or if your child is going to a new school, visit the school and introduce yourself to the principal. Find out what his/her philosophy of education is, and what is required for your child to succeed at this level. Inquire about how you might contribute your skills and interests for the benefit of the school.
Specifically, you might also want to use this visit to solicit advice about how to keep your children engaged in learning during a long, relaxing summer. Unfortunately, it's often the case that when students return to school after summer vacation, they've lost one to three months of learning.
Research indicates that math skills are most in jeopardy. Elementary students at all socio-economic levels typically lose math skills, while middle class students often make slight gains in reading. But the weak economy has taken its toll on families across the board. Fewer parents will be able to afford camps, tutors, and the plethora of other summer programs that can enrich learning during the summer. And school budget cuts have also reduced free summer educational programs that existed in the recent past.
Photo Credit: Tim Pierce
Posted on June 9, 2012 by Meryl Ain, Ed.D.
Dr. Meryl Ain has worked in several large New York school districts as a central office administrator, teacher, and school building administrator. She writes about education and parenting for Huffington Post, several other publications, and on her blog, You can also follow her on Twitter.
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Tags: *Parent Engagement at Home , Learning environment, Parents as teachers
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