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.