Summer is Over – Are Your Kids Ready for School? Part One

How do you know if your kids are ready for school?

Au_Pair_and_three_kids_reading_a_book

In America, and many other countries around the world, families prepare for a new school year in several ways. But just like the rest of the world, not every family approaches changes the same way.

At the end of the school year, in June, when the children receive their report cards on the last day, very often a packet of work is included, which the child is expected to complete over the summer. This packet is often asked for during the first week of school in August or September and the teacher knows who practiced over the summer and who didn’t. This is usually done at the elementary level, up to grade five or six.  Some students may have been given a reading list and assigned summer reading. This is usually at the middle and high school level, and very often, the students are required to either write a short report or prepare for a short quiz on the book at school.

Be sure to check with your child and your Host Parents to see if the summer packet or summer reading is complete. Have the child read written work out loud to you, so you can both hear what is written in order to make sure it is complete and makes good sense. If the child is younger, review the packet and help the child make some corrections, if necessary. If your child did not receive any summer packet or summer reading, it is still a good idea to have them do some sort of practice of their skills over the summer, even if it just doing addition and subtraction or multiplication and division drills while you ride in the car or during commercials at night.

Reading is an activity that children should be involved in every day, whether it is for enjoyment or with a specific purpose, but every day, kids should read. Younger kids and older kids alike enjoy a read-aloud, or being read to, so choose more mature books to read aloud and share with your middle and high schoolers, and of course, read everything you can to younger children. Let them see you reading, for enjoyment and to solve a problem.

Another simple way to prepare your child for school is to buy or make a set of flashcards. These can be simple addition and subtraction facts, multiplication and division facts, sight words, even foreign language vocabulary! You can also play many different games with flashcards. If you make matching sets, you can play memory with them. If you use them like a deck of cards, you can play war with them; each player gets part of the deck and at the same time, place one card face up. Solve the math problem, and the higher, or lower number wins, or whoever shouts out the answer first wins. The possibilities are endless!

If you have more questions about hosting an au pair or helping your child prepare for school, feel free to contact me anytime at 401.309.1925 or jlowell@goaupair.com.  I am your Local Area Rep for Go Au Pair in the Providence area, as well as a special educator and mom.

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