Monday, June 7, 2010

Schools out for Summer!

The little kiddies are at home for the summer, and you wonder to yourself... what do I do with them now?

There are so many options parents have at their disposal to ensure Silly Sally or Adventurous Johnny stay out of trouble and reamin on course to be ready for the upcoming school year.  Although summer conjures thoughts of playing outside until dark and the absence of touching a book until September, there are some healthy alternatives that kids in which kids can participate to help alleviate the loss of skill over summer break.

Check with your local library.  I always love the word free, and there are ususally at least a couple of programs offered by the library to entice kids into visiting the library and developing their lifelong love of reading.  These programs are not usually great for working parents, because they are always during a weekday and last no longer than a couple of hours.  However, if you can find a way for your child to make it to a program, they are secretly getting a little bit of school when they don't even know it!

Another option is to find out what summer programs are being offered by the school system.  Federal funds exist for School Boards to offer one program during the summer to help children combat the loss of achievement that can sometimes happen during summer months.  These programs do not go the entire summer, and they are usually set up in a more relaxed learning environment than during the school year. 

There are many great sites for kids to visit and play academic games on the internet.  My first word of caution is to monitor what your child is viewing on the internet.  If you have a computer at home, move it into a place that where contents can easily be checked with a mere glance.  Also, if you do not have internet at home, the local library offers free internet service with a mere scan of your library card.  Before you allow your child to engage in learning via the web, it is important to sit with them and pull up a web page.  Show them that content located on the side of the page, or boxes that flash and are usually very enticing, are nothing more than ads that can sometimes install spam on the computer.   A little big of planning in the front end can save much headache in the future.

I know of sites that provide activity that is geared towards national standards for all grade levels.  For now, I will post one that is geared towards K - 2.  Keep checking back, as you never know what you might find!

Activities for grades K - 2

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