Keeping skills sharp during summer, part 2
        Summertime activities can lend themselves to skills that help with your childís schooling when the summer is over. Here are just a few suggestions:

        * Ask children to help with meal or picnic preparation. The kitchen is a great place for learning practical math skills, as you may need to double, triple, or halve the quantities for recipes.

        * Shopping is a good arena for learning to deal with money: giving the right amount to a clerk, getting change, and figuring the final prices for items that are anywhere from 10 to 50% off. 
        * Car trips, either on vacation or around town, lend themselves to using maps. Take a look on a map before you start. Use directional words such as north, east, south, and west, so that children get accustomed to hearing and using this terminology. 

        * Guide books and travel brochures offer lots of information about the places you visit. Hand the material over to the kids and see what strikes their fancy. In addition to good reading comprehension practice, this is a good way for them to work on their social and negotiating skills.
        * Writing comes to the forefront in many ways: keeping a journal of a trip, writing an agenda for a day of activities, sending post cards or letters to friends and family, or labeling items to be kept in a scrapbook are four useful possibilities. The key element to writing is that children understand that it has a purpose.
        * Use an atlas for following current events that strike your fancy. News stories can lead to investigating the location of the city or country where they take place. If your family follows the Olympics, use this interest to locate the countries represented in the games being played. If any particular country or sport interests him, use this as a point for jumping off into reading about it.

        With the familyís intention on keeping skills up, you can have a fun and educational summer. Let me know if you have any activities that you enjoy, so I can add to my list of ideas.
       This column has been incorporated and expanded in Teach Your Children
Well: A Teacherís  Advice for Parents

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