Blogs Blogs

Summer Learning Blogs

Newest Most Active

Right now, most students (and a good many teachers!) are counting down the days til school is over!  For those of us whose students have learning challenges, we are well aware that summer vacation means freedom from anxiety-inducing academic subjects.  However, these are the very students for whom it is essential that learning continue into the summer months.  Students who fail to continue to at least maintain the progress gained over the school year can actually lose ground over the summer - I've seen it happen.  So, if you want to keep your students' motivation alive during the warm weather months, it's vital to design summer learning that is truly unique to June, July, and August.   What is great about summer learning is that you can wrap it together with what is taking place in your students' lives - camping, being outdoors, gardening, astronomy - whatever is of interest to your student, you can turn into lessons in all subjects being taught. ... read more

During the school year, many of the students I work with have jam-packed schedules replete with extracurriculars, sports, and demanding classes. Adding test prep into the mix can complicate schedules even further. So why not take advantage of the time students have off during the summer to get ahead, so that when school resumes they won't have a heavy additional workload to worry about?    There are many reasons why summer classes benefit students. One of the most obvious relates to what is known as the "summer slide." Most students lose about two months of grade-level mathematical proficiency over the summer. In fact, in a meta-analysis of 39 studies that examined the effect of summer vacation on academic achievement, researchers found that summer break was detrimental for both math and reading skills, and that the amount of deterioration increased with grade-level.    Many times I work with sophomores and juniors in high school... read more

    This summer 2014 has been actually life changing in terms of family, career, and purpose for me. After returning back to the field of Supplemental Education Services after maternity leave,opening a center, and publishing a book (for incoming college freshmen), I have never been more pleased. I opened an onsite tutoring/education location so that children can still get the Honors level, or Basic level courses needed no matter what their home district may restrict.  Classes range from Playwriting, Performing Arts, Clay Animation, Math through Music, Magazine Creations, Study Skills, etc.   My decision to return earlier than anticipated was born out of my pure care for children returning back  to their home districts energized, confident, eager, and prepared to show off their newly matured academic personalities. For some it's humor, others its artistic, or athletic for some, in any case it makes for a more exciting learning process... read more

Summer is a great break for students and teachers alike.  However, students can experience a huge educational deficit by not being able to practice the language they have been studying by not being exposed to it during summer months.  There are some fun ways for them to practice their language skills during this much needed vacation.   Study Blue is a great site full of flashcards that kids can review and even take a quiz with.  There are a multitude of languages and other subjects that teachers and students have made.  Spending 10 minutes here a day can keep their minds refreshed.  As a parent, you can even monitor your child's time spent here and their scores on activities they attempt.   Specifically for French - Tex's French Grammar is a great site put together by the University of Texas that reviews French grammar - from very basic to advanced.  There are listening and written activities that students can complete and receive... read more

The pressure can be high on kids to be productive in the summer, and to make the most of their free time.  One can understand where such expectations come from -- after all, summer is also prime time for the feared "achievement gap" to sneak in between kids who do nothing academically-stimulating, and those who continue their educational pursuits.  However, you don't have to go to an exotic summer camp to learn new things; you don't even have to leave your house.   What I suggest is not limited to the simple adage that reading a book will take you to new worlds (though that is absolutely true).  Rather, I encourage kids of all ages to see learning as a state of mind:  if you are looking to learn, then you can cultivate your mind almost anywhere, doing almost anything.  Books are in fact a great place to start:  try the thirty-second exercise of thinking of something which fascinates you and doing a google search for books on that... read more

Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer...   ...because it teaches you how to think.   -Steve Jobs     Knowing how to program is an incredibly important skill that is becoming more and more valuable as technology is becoming extremely important in our everyday lives.   And even if you don't plan to be a tech-savvy computer geek who is shaping the future, programming can still greatly help you reach your goals.   I have met many mathematicians, biologists, chemists, statisticians, and accountants who used their programming knowledge to make programs that help them reach their goals.   Many scientists who conduct research program their own applications that help them conduct research or properly store/interpret data.   I have met accountants who used programming to make Excel application tools and other database tools.   If for no other reason, one... read more

Elementary through High School students should attempt to keep a journal, or scrapbook, of their summer adventures. Have them take pictures of all the fun they have; at theme parks or even just in the backyard. Then let them have fun arranging everything in a journal, thinking about things like layout and page design. You can use stickers, stamps, markers, basically anything you can think of! Just make sure to leave a space where they can also write details about each picture. It's a fun way for them to keep their mind engaged without it feeling like summer homework - not to mention it can help preserve some amazing memories!

One way to stay abreast of your education is to read over the summer. Magazines, newspapers, short stories , and novels are all great ways to keep your mind sharp. Also, completing crosswords is a great brain stimulator which causes you to think and explore new subject ideas that you may not usually think about. Engage in activities that involve science, math, and critical thinking. This may be a science project, an exercise routine, or brain teaser games such as headbands, outburst, or clue. Basically, enjoy your summer with a variety of healthy activities to keep your brain keen and sharp. It is important to laugh, be silly and have fun. Spend time with family and friends. Go to the beach, aquarium, museum or your favorite vacation spot. There are also many backyard ideas to be explored, such as, slip and slides, batmitten, volleyball, and dodgeball. You must have a healthy balanced schedule to avoid summer learning loss.  Try a visit to your local library and check out... read more

Most teachers plan on needing to review basic subject-area content during the first few weeks of school. Why? Because most students need to refresh their memory after spending their summers swimming, playing video games, and generally going everything they can to avoid anything remotely resembling school work.   Summer enrichment doesn't have to look like regular schoolwork. Anything that gets your kids thinking will be helpful. This could be as simple as visiting a museum, a library, or a state park. Many museums offer free admission days - you just might have to call and ask. Most libraries offer free summer reading programs with incentives like gift certificates or small toys.   Going camping this summer? Challenge your kids to find ten different types of bugs (no, they don't need to pick them up and take them home!). Or ten different types of plants (again, no touching necessary). Challenge your kids to find similarities and differences between these ten... read more

Summer vacation from school, summer vacation with the family traveling someplace to enjoy summertime offers a great opportunity for children to learn about maps:  How to read maps, how to measure distances on maps, learning the shapes of state boundaries, learning the capital cities of each state, and learning how to follow along with the travel along a road, or in an airplane.     Even learning the cardinal directions North, South, East, West, and the intermediate directions Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest and learning about the "compass rose" on maps is an important learning skill.     Vacation is not just about going somewhere to hit the beach.  Much learning can occur during the travel process.

Now, with summer approaching, many students are looking forward to a break from the daily grind of classes and homework.  Rightly so!  It's a lot on a child.  But one thing many teachers notice at the beginning of a school year is how much they have to review the previous section of their subject.  The break is great for letting a student have fun, but it also facilitates a loss of gained knowledge due to the passage of time.  As an student working toward an engineering degree, I started out at a high school level math, not because I'm incompetent in math, but because 7 years had passed since my last math class by that point. I chose to focus my energy in that area to prepare myself to get into the full swing of being a full time student in university.  If during this 7 years I would have taken the time to read up a little bit, run through a couple problems, and keep myself in practice with the skill, I wouldn't have had to start so far back. ... read more

Summer!  Lazy, hazy days are perfect for adults, but not so much for children.  You would think with camps, vacations, sports, and friends their days would be filled!   Well be prepared to hear..... "I'm Borrrrreeeeed"! double prepared and schedule in a session or two to keep those brilliant minds at work!   I come with an arsenal of learning experiences, games, books and "fun".   Call now we can set up a convenient time that will work with your schedule.    

The #1 thing you can do to avoid brain drain over the summer is to READ something, anything, daily! Reading keeps our minds active, even if it's just perusing over the newspaper or picking up a magazine and taking in an article.   For parents, there are so many teachable moments in any given day. When in the car, tell your kids what the odometer reads when you leave the grocery store and tell them what it says when you arrive home. They can calculate how far in miles and tenths of miles you traveled. This can be done on vacation as you travel also. They can add up the cost of items at the grocery store, or at least guesstimate what the cost will be. You can have them figure the bill at a restaurant or how much tip to leave. One of the best places for math is in the kitchen! Recipes are full of fractions, and with a little creativity, a math lesson can be completed before they even know it.   Going to the movies? Add up the price of the tickets. Ask each other... read more

Summer Learning Blogs RSS feed