Thursday, June 12, 2014
Letter to the Editor
Give your child a leg up
School is out and the long-awaited summer vacation is upon us. Your children have worked hard all school year and they deserve to rest.
However, you don’t want them to lose the knowledge they gained in the previous grade. When children return to school in August, the teacher for this next grade will move quickly into new material that builds upon what your child learned last school year. Therefore, students start off behind if they have forgotten key skills and concepts from the year before. So give your children a leg up on the next grade by keeping them academically sharp this summer using three tips:
1. Children should read for 30 minutes per day, five days per week. Reading is the single best exercise your children can do for academic success. They build critical-thinking skills, cognitive reasoning, and vocabulary. Let them choose their own reading material that’s fun and exciting.
2. Children should write for 15 minutes per day, five days per week. Although writing is difficult for many students, this skill gets much easier the more they practice. Writing allows students to synthesize information and to be creative. Let your little one choose an age appropriate topic that’s interesting to him. Then let him write at least three paragraphs about that topic.
3. Children should solve age-appropriate math problems for 15 minutes per day, five days per week. Because every math problem builds upon previous knowledge, it’s critical that students continue to work math problems during the summer. The extra practice will help prepare them for solving higher level problems to come.
There you have it. Your children only need to work for an hour each weekday and the assignments need not be done consecutively. Perhaps your little one prefers to read for a half hour in the morning, spend 15 minutes writing after lunch, then work a few math problems before bed-time. Just make sure your children complete each activity every day, and you’ll be quite pleased by their academic progress next school year.
Dr. JJ Harris
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