(StatePoint) Long breaks from reading, writing and critical thinking can be detrimental for students. That’s why savvy parents ensure that kids keep learning over summer. With the implementation of the Common Core and Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Standards, bridging the gap between school years is more important than ever.
But you don’t need to replicate a classroom to reap the benefits of summer studies. After all, it’s called “vacation” for a reason. Here are few fun ways to keep kids’ brains on high alert all season:
Make Math Fun
The more interactive and hands-on you can make math, the more engaged kids will be. So avoid drilling them with stale worksheets.
Play a board game like “Monopoly,” and bestow the role of “banker” on your child. Or, let them handle the real thing on outings by letting them pay the ice cream vendor and the grocer. You can even consider capitalizing on the summer weather with a lemonade stand -- it’s a great first small business experience.
Supplement these experiences with tools that go beyond a standard workbook. For example, a new book, “Amazing Visual Math,” covers the essential math concepts learned in the first years of school using interactive elements, including pop-ups, flaps and pull-tab elements. Designed to develop manual dexterity and sharpen visual skills, tools like this can make a tedious subject entertaining.
Foster their Interests
The school year can be hectic and isn’t necessarily an ideal time for a child to take on new hobbies. Summer however, is the perfect time of year to encourage kids to explore new interests through thematic summer camps, community classes and sports teams.
You can also nurture interests through non-fiction literature. Check out the “Eyewitness Books" series from DK Publishing with titles that cover a broad range of topics like “World War I,” “Rocks & Minerals” and “Wonders of the World.” Newly updated this year and now available in paperback, they can help bridge the gap between last school year and the next.
The implementation of new education policies and standards can be difficult on students, but you can help smooth the transition and prepare your child for the coming school year by learning more about it. Visit www.us.dk.com/education for Common Core and STEM information for all grade levels, activity sheets and book recommendations on all topics that support classroom learning.
Start a family competition to see who reads the most books this summer. Post the results on the fridge so everyone can see.
Road Trip Fun
Make summer road trips a bit less of a bore by stocking the car with fun games and activities. The Ultimate Factivity Collection series includes doodle and coloring pages, puzzles, crafts, stickers, facts and activities that encourage learning. With titles like “Animals,” “Fashion,” “Star Wars” and “LEGO Legends of Chima,” kids won’t suspect they’re learning.
To set up kids for a successful school year, find activities that strike the perfect balance between learning and fun.
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