Now that summer is just on our doorstep, teachers are pulling way back. Homework is over and the lazy days of summer are nearly upon us. But your kid just got going! Do you have one of those children who seem to hit their stride very late in the school year? Maybe you just have a late bloomer or a child you know is going to get lazy over the summer and forget anything he or she learned this year.
Teachers deal with this every September when we spend the first weeks of school reviewing what they already know, while the students stare at us with blank stares. They haven’t been up this early since mid-June! To avoid this lethargy of the brain, maybe you need some help this summer.
You know your kids will be coming home next week with Summer Reading Lists and Summer Math Packets. School systems send these home in hopes that parents will have children do a little bit of schoolwork each week over the summer, so as not to lose the brain momentum that sometimes takes months to achieve! And what happens to these darling packets? If you’re lucky, your child gives it to you, but like most parents, you may have to pull a few teeth, or withhold a few outings, to get the fool thing completed.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have gotten calls the third week of August from parents, frantic to have me help their child complete summer reading the week before school starts. Usually, the book is chosen, and maybe even started, but almost never finished. The best advice I can give is start early, so it is done early! If you need more help with your child, perhaps some in-home tutoring is needed.
In RI, I advise contacting Patti Avin, owner of Tutor Doctor Rhode Island. She manages a group of professional tutors who travel to the student’s home for tutoring sessions. If your child is doing poorly due to lack of organization skills, ask Patti about her X-Skills package, and tell her Joan Lowell sent you! Patti even writes about the brain drain or summer slide in one of her recent posts: Summer Learning…Comfortably. Patti has a great promotion going on where you could win a year of free tutoring! Check it out! Tutor Doctor has franchise owners in at least 14 countries, so if you’re not lucky enough to be in RI, look them up in your area!
Even if you can’t afford a private tutor, you may be able to work with your child yourself. Or you might be able to hire a college student, perhaps home for the summer, to work with your child. Given one-to-one attention from a caring, interested and knowledgeable adult, almost any child can maintain current skills or even work to bolster weak areas. You might be surprised how far a little attention may go.
Maybe you live in a neighborhood with lots of kids. Ask your friends, well, the parents of your child’s friends, if anyone is interested in doing a weekly study group over the summer to complete some of the common tasks, like summer reading. It would be a much more interesting way to get the work done. The kids could take turns reading aloud, and an adult could read some too. I would suggest rewarding a successful session by maybe ice cream or a yard game, but make it a surprise each time to keep the kids motivated.
If you have more questions about how to keep the kids thinking this summer, comment or message me and I will be happy to discuss your ideas!