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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Keep Kids Reading during the Summer

By: Contributing Freelance Writer Ree Shapiro
You have made it through another school year!  As a parent and a teacher,I understand that it’s time to take a deep sigh of relief.  Let’s all take a moment to bask in the satisfaction of another school year completed.  We can now take a break from the pressure of making sure homework and projects are done and with keeping up with all the school events and expectations.  It was a lot, I know, but let’s not take a break from learning.
In the summer, many students regress in their learning and then need to catch up in the fall.  Do not let your child be one of these students!  You do not need to assign work every day, but do incorporate reading and writing during your child’s day.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to take advantage of your local library.  It is amazing how many activities the libraries offer and all for free!  The activities vary from book clubs to puppet shows to free tutoring, all centered around reading and writing.  Children love to keep track of the books they read on the fun charts the libraries use, all leading toward prizes for amounts of time spent reading.  There are also night and weekend programs, for children who go to day camp.
Many other places also have enrichment programs going on in summer.  Museums, parks and science centers have lots of great educational classes available.  They also have weekend programs.
 If you are taking a vacation this summer take advantage of the local learning opportunities available wherever you visit.  Many of these are also free!   I have been fortunate to be able to travel in the summer with my family.  I would always take advantage of free museums and libraries.  Not only do you save money,but you really get a sense of where you are, not just the tourist parts.  As my kids got older,I would have them research on line the places we were visiting to find their own activities they would like to do.  Maybe the place you are visiting is famous because someone special grew up there. Maybe a certain product is made in that state. It would be great to have your child learn about the product before you get there. 
 I would also encourage my own kids to keep a journal of wherever we visited, and give them a disposable camera to take pictures and document their trip.  These are both fun writing activities.

As I say in my end of the year letter to my students and parents, have a safe and happy summer!  Take time to relax with your family and enjoy the adventures that the summer brings; including some academics along the way!
About the author Ree Shapiro
Ree enjoys working with young children. In her teenage yeas, she was a baby-sitter and camp counselor.  To help offset her college tuition, she worked in different pre-schools as a teacher assistant.  It was no surprise to her family when she decided to major in early childhood/elementary education.  She is in her sixteenth year of teaching and is certified in early childhood/ Elementary education, Varying Exceptionalities, English Speakers of Other Languages and Art.
This is her seventh year teaching kindergarten.  She has also taught first grade, pre-school for students with special needs and have worked with students with learning disabilities, both as a tutor and a teacher. 
Ree is married with two children; her oldest is in College and her youngest is in High School.  As both a parent and a teacher, she has some very interesting insight into the world of education! She hopes her knowledge can ease your own child’s educational experiences.

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