Thursday, June 11, 2009
The end of the school year is a great time to prepare for transition -- the transition from one grade to another, but also the transition from in-classroom learning to the ongoing learning process that takes place outside of school. Use the following tips to help your child make the transition to the next grade level as easy as possible.
1. Make the most of the final weeks of school.
2. Review your child's progress. Many teachers spend the last weeks of school recapping the year's work. You can help your children review by asking them to show you what they've learned, or working through homework problems together.
3. Schedule a final meeting or discussion with the teacher. Talk about the year as a whole and identify successes, but also challenges your child may face when he or she returns in the fall.
4. Help your children stay motivated about school so they gain the full benefit of their final days in the classroom. Have a conversation every day about school.
5. Ask the teacher for a reading list for the summer. Teachers often have lists for the appropriate grade level, or in some cases you might be able to get specific recommendations for two kinds of books, those your child may enjoy reading, and those you may enjoy reading to your child.
* Know what the next grade will bring.You can speak to your child's current teacher or a teacher in their next grade level about the upcoming curriculum.Ask not only about subjects, but changes in focus. For example, 4th grade students usually begin to “read to learn” rather than “learn to read.” If your 3rd grade student is struggling with her reading, this summer would be a good time to focus on improving reading skills. If the next year will mean a change in schools -- such as entering high school -- take advantage of orientation sessions where you and your child can learn more about the new school. Let your kids be kids. Summer vacation is a great tradition. It's important to enjoy the time off. But children can also learn while they have fun. In fact, the best learning occurs when children don't realize they're learning. You can plan summer vacation activities that are both fun and educational, such as: If you know your child will be studying history next year, visit local historical sites or borrow historical books and novels from your library.
Continue reading throughout summer. Visit the local library where they can help you select books appropriate for your child's age and interest, or go to www.bookadventure.com. Book Adventure is a free, Sylvan-created, interactive, reading motivation program online. Students choose their own books, take short comprehension quizzes and redeem their accumulated points for small prizes. Book Adventure also offers teachers and parents resources and tips to help children develop a lifelong love of reading. Plan family activities that are fun, interactive and educational. To help you get started, Sylvan Learning Center offers a free activity booklet, Family Learning Fun. The booklet provides seven different ideas and activities that will help sustain and renew your childrens interest in learning and discovery. It is available on the Sylvan Learning Center’s Web site, while supplies, last at learning activities.
Attend summer camp. There are many enrichment activities available for children when school is out-of-session. Sylvan Learning Center offers engaging programs that keep the interest and fun in learning alive through the summer and into the school year. Develop writing skills by writing or emailing pen pals. Demonstrate the value of continuous learning to your child by showing how you continually learn -- such as regular reading, developing new skills for a job or learning a new hobby or sport.