Friday, June 3, 2016

Keep Thinking all Summer #100DaystoLearn

They are stretching out ahead of us. Those long, sunny, hot days of summer filled with sunscreen, sweet tea and kids whining “I’m bored” when they bother to look up from their digital screens.  What’s a parent to do?

One thing is to keep them learning all summer. We know it intuitively and research proves that during those lazy days of doing nothing, kids forget some of what they learned all year long. They come back not remembering how to write a cursive J or solve a + 3 = 9 or who fought in the Civil War. It’s called the “summer slide” but its not fun. Research shows that kids can lose up to 2-3 months of learning while out of school, the effect is stronger in lower-income children who may not experience some type of active learning from June through September.  Keeping kids busy and thinking all summer long can help reduce, or even eliminate, those effects. And, yes, there is some pushing and prodding and reminding that may be required, but it doesn’t take a lot of work for parents to keep their kids firing those brain cells around math and reading.

To help parents along, I’ve launched #100DaystoLearn.  Wearing my other hat, as a Family Ambassador Fellow, with an eye to encouraging more family engagement in education, I’ll be tweeting a tip or activity each day, June through September for parents to support their children’s learning, pre-K through high school.  Follow me on Twitter at @FFEngageFamily for your daily tip (and of course, I’ll retweet as @JustPiddlinBlog too).

Day 1, June 1, kicked off with starting a summer journal. Whether a $1 Store notebook or a leatherbound journal – or even that composition book that you sent to school way back in September and your kid only wrote on 10 pages #recycle #reuse!  Start a journal, decorate the cover or first page. Write in it through the summer – what you all did, what you read, random lists, stories, poems, math work.  Some of the tips I post will also return you to the journal. The kids practice their handwriting (slowly becoming a lost skill) and writing skills.  Have fun with it. Post pictures of your journal - #100DaystoLearn.

Day 2’s reminder – go to one of my favorite places – the public library! Find your card, renew your card, get a new card and get a schedule of summer activities and services at your library card. You’d be surprised at what your local library offers for free.

Follow along. Let me know how it’s going! Happy summer!

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