Ways to Help Your Kids Stay School Ready Over the Summer

When kids are on summer vacation, they probably don’t want to think about school. After all, they’ve just spent the last nine months working hard, completing homework and taking tests. But parents often worry about the “summer slide” – the decline in reading ability or other academic skills that can happen when the kids are not in school.

If you want to keep your child’s skills current, but not have your child feel like she’s sitting in a traditional classroom, there are lots of things you can do. Your kids may even find some of them quite fun!

kid with pencilTeach Your Kids New Games

School is all about learning new skills. It’s about tackling new subjects. This summer teach your children a few new games. It could be a new board game or outdoor games that they may not have learned yet. Let them read the rules of the board game and teach the entire family. Or, have them explain to friends how to play the new outdoor game they learned. A great way to ensure that a child has acquired a new skill is to let them teach others.

Visit the Library

Your local library is a great place to visit in the summertime. The Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library has so much to offer. Your children can check out books that interest them, without worrying about required reading lists. They can attend storytimes and other events. They can use the Spark’s Lab or check out the art displays. Use your library as a jumping off point for many great conversations. 

Read Aloud to Them

This is a simple activity that can really help keep your children ready for school in the fall and bring the family together at the same time. Find a book that you think your child would love and spend some time each day reading to them. Even older children will like this activity, and it can lead to the asking of great questions and some super discussions. 

Involve Them In the Kitchen

Getting your children involved in the preparation of meals is a fun summer activity and teaches some excellent skills. They can help pick out ingredients, learn about planning and measuring, and you can also have some simple scientific discussions when you talk about why a cake rises or why the ingredients in a homemade salad dressing stay separated until shaken. 

Have Them Create a Business

Do you have a child who wants to have a lemonade stand or an older child who wants to teach music lessons over the summer? Then let them create their own business. Teach them about marketing, handling cash and other critical business skills that come with having their own business venture. 

Apps and Websites

There are numerous apps and websites that are not only educational but fun, too. The Ocean County Library has a selection of websites that your child may like. They’re broken down by subject area – making it easy for you to direct your child to something that interests them. 

If you’ll be taking a road trip or vacation and your child has a tablet, choose a few educational apps before leaving. You can check this list out and choose a few together.

Plan Adventures

A vacation, a trip to the local park, or some time hiking are all summer adventures that you can take with your child. Surprise them with a new adventure or let them help plan what you’re going to do – and have fun exploring together. Ask them questions as you explore and let them document their adventure with pictures or a journal.

The “summer slide” doesn’t have to be a real thing. Spend some time this summer having your child try some of these activities. They’ll have fun, and you’ll love that they go back to school better prepared.

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