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From Reading Rockets, research tells us what works to aid learning and avoid losses over the summer.
We know that, as Harris Cooper of Duke University says, that “Overall, children experience an average summer learning loss across reading and mathematics of about one month.” Some children experience even larger losses.
1. Read Every Day
Research tell us that at the middle school level, reading four to five books over the summer has a positive impact on fall reading achievement comparable to attending summer school (Kim, 2004).
So experts suggest that you take your kids to the library often and let them choose which books to check out. Listen to books on tape. Subscribe them to a magazine. Take turns reading to each other. Allow your kids to stay up half an hour later at night as long as they’re reading!
2. Use Math Every Day
The research suggests that the largest learning losses for all children occur in mathematical computation, and average of 2.6 months (Cooper, 1996).
They suggest that children practice the multiplication tables by making each point in a basketball game worth 7 points (or 8 or 9). Ask your children to make change at the drive-thru. Show your child how to go to Cool Math or other math learning sites to play math games. Make up math word problems in the car or at the dinner table.
3. Get Outside and Play
From research we know that intense physical activity programs have positive effects on academic achievement, including increased concentration, improved mathematics, reading, and writing test scores, and reduced disruptive behavior (Journal of School Health 1997).
So try to find ways to ensure your child is active for 60 minutes each day. Have him or her walk the neighbor’s dog, go swimming, play badminton or soccer, take walks, or go for family bike rides. Look for safe, fun ways to play outside together year-round. Go to Family Corner Magazine and PBS Parents for more ideas.
4. Write Every Week
Research tells us more freshmen entering degree-granting postsecondary institutions take remedial writing courses than take remedial reading courses (NCES 2003).
Ask your child to write a letter to his or her grandparents, relatives, or friends. Encourage him to keep a summer journal. Have her write the family’s grocery list. Organize a secret pal writing projects for adults and kids at your church or in your community.
5. Do a Good Deed
Interestingly, research tells us that students learn better and “act out” less when they engage in activities to aid in their social-emotional development, such as community service (The Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning, 2004).
You might encourage your child to help out neighbors or friends. He or she might volunteer with a local group, or complete a service learning project. Suggest that your child set aside part of his allowance for charity. Look at Nickelodeon’s Big Help web site together for more ideas.
source: http://www.readingrockets.org . They say these tips were adapted from a presentation by Brenda McLaughlin, director of Research and Policy, Center for Summer Learning, Johns Hopkins University; and Jane Voorhees Sharp, Office of Early Care and Education, New Jersey Dept of Human Services.
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