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The Key to Summer Learning (page 2)

The Key to Summer Learning

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Updated on Jun 11, 2010

3. Find worksheets. Members of Education.com get unlimited access to thousands of worksheets broken down by grade and topic. Becoming a member is easy, just click here. Then, with your list in hand, go to the worksheets section and search under the topics that address your child's summer learning goals.

4. Make a balanced plan. Even in all-day classrooms, teachers always schedule regular breaks, and for good reason. No kid learns very well when glued to a chair for long periods. Once you have your list of priorities, sit down with your family calendar, and with your kid when you're ready, too, to make a balanced plan. Many kids especially appreciate predictable, manageable routines. You might plan, for example, on having your child do one hour of "summer jumpstart" work each weekday at a certain time, over a certain number of weeks, especially if you add a five minute "jumprope break" in the middle. Make sure you start when you say you will, and end on time...and then let the rest of the day be wide open. Or, if routines don't fit your family style, fit in your activities as you like, but do keep a running list of them, and of what standards they have addressed.

5. Don't forget fun activities! As noted earlier, here at Education.com, we do not believe that you need to choose between learning and fun. Over the last three years, our editors have assembled thousands of standards-based, grade-appropriate activities that teach, deepen and enrich everything from math facts to physics theory. Again, with your list of priorities in hand, scroll through our lists, which have been categorized both by subject and by skill. After all, as our teacher-writers have demonstrated, powerful learning is available everywhere from the kitchen to the card table to a backyard dirt pile, as long as parents know what to look for.

So what does it all add up to? If all goes well, your child will have had plenty of open-ended summer romping time, integrated with careful, creative attention to learning and growth--a recipe, we think, for happy times and for success both now and in the coming school year.

With all this in mind, we urge you, finally, to be sure to celebrate your child's summer achievements. At the beginning of the process, you figured out goals for progress; as the new school year approaches, don't forget to help your child mark what he's accomplished. Make a list together of highlights of your "summer jumpstart" time, and talk with your child about what he now knows about each topic you selected together at the start. September may still come as a shock for your child, but, as we all know, a summer of newly boosted confidence and good feeling can make all the difference in the world.

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