Lesson:As the summer approaches, most students and parents are looking forward to the end of a lengthy school year! I believe that the summer is definitely the time when children and adolescents should be outside playing and having as much fun as possible. I also believe that summers should not be totally void of academic enrichment and continued learning. Every educator will tell you that students who take the entire summer off from learning and growing academically need about 6 weeks of review when the new school year starts just to refresh and renew everything they lost and forgot during their 3 month summer academic hiatus. That lost learning time pushes back the entire school year in terms of new benchmarks that should be mastered by the end of the new school year. There is a way to have a healthy balance of summer fun, family vacations and playing while also working in some academic enrichment as well.
Before the school year ends, this is the perfect time to connect with your child’s current teacher to get tips and suggestions for summer enrichment! Your child’s teacher should be able to tell you exactly what to keep working on and practicing in the summer time so your child can have a strong start to the next school year.
Here are 4 Suggestions for partnering with your child’s teacher:
1. Show appreciation for what they have done for your child all school year!
It’s never too late to show appreciation for all that your child’s teacher has done throughout the school year. Hopefully, during the recent teacher appreciation week, you gave your child’s teacher some form of appreciation! If you haven’t, there is still time. J Always remember that the first step to partnering with someone is to show value and appreciation for them. Hopefully, this partnership has already been made. If not, it’s never too late until it’s too late!
2. Ask about areas of deficit or benchmarks that your child should work on and practice during the summer to be best prepared for next school year.
Your child’s teacher is your greatest academic resource! Children spend an average of 6-8 hours a day with their teacher, in some cases, it’s more time than parents spend with their children during the week. As a result, most teachers know their students’ needs very well. Lean on them! They know your child and they know the academic benchmarks that they will need to be successful the next school year.
3. Ask about tutoring or enrichment opportunities.
Teachers know other teachers and are knowledgeable about resources as well; camps, clubs, enrichment classes, etc. Most teachers can give you a long list of resources or they can refer you to the people or places that can help you. I recently had a conversation with my god-sister who was trying to pinpoint the best summer enrichment option for her two boys. Conveniently, she found a teacher right in their school who works with students at the local library for a few hours each week. It turned out to be the perfect fit because her boys are already familiar with the teacher and the teacher knows exactly what they need to practice and work on to stay academically refreshed during the summer and prepare for the next school year.
4. Ask about a summer reading and activity list.
If your summer schedule doesn’t allow for camps or classes you can always request a suggested summer reading list or activity list that you can do with your child at home in your free time. You could even find out where the local teacher store is and find enrichment workbooks, reading or summer activity books that have suggestions for scavenger hunts, science experiments, art projects, interactive learning bucket lists, etc. Most teachers I know are willing to go the extra mile to support their students, so just ask! We have not because we ask not. The worst thing that can happen is they say no. In that case, I would bet there is a teacher in your child’s school building that can be a resource. Just seek them out!
Make it a priority to connect with your child’s teacher before the end of the school year and get the resources you need to keep your child engaged and enriched academically throughout the summer. Even if your child just reads a chapter a week, writes a summary and does math enrichment worksheets, it’s better than nothing.