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End of the Year Checklist: 5 Tips for Preparing your Child for Summer

Two little girls are reading book
Most younger children are completely worn out by the middle of June. They want to get out of their chair and into the Ocean (or some other fun outdoor setting) as fast as they can. Summer is a great opportunity for young kids to have a chance to run around, enjoy the sunshine, and spend more time with family; however, it’s also a good time to work on academic issues.

1. Talk with your child’s classroom teacher

The classroom teacher will have a list of all her students as well as notes about each student’s current academic standing. She will be able to tell each parent if a child needs extra help to catch up during the summer or if they need supplemental learning materials to be prepared for the fall. Most teachers provide a reading list, list of suggested improvements, and recommended tasks for students who might be ahead of the game and need a challenge. 

2. Hire a tutor
Most kids will fight their parents over the idea of anything considered “educational” during the summer. However, arranging for a private tutor to come to the home can help ease summer stress for moms because the tutor can handle the structure and ongoing assignments and also provide a fun and engaging educational environment for their students. Having a tutor in the home even one hour per week will also keep educational structure intact and make it easier for kids to transition to the school year in August.

3. Line up a summer camp
Searching for a good summer camp can be more of a challenge than one might think. Many camps are only two or three hours, leaving mom to be a chauffeur throughout the day. Some summer programs provide excellent academic, artistic, or sports activities while others serve simply as a daycare center. The best recommendation usually comes from another mom who sent her kids to that particular summer camp in years past.

4. Get or make a reading list

Almost every teacher will provide a summer reading list for younger children but parents are advised that they can easily add to or supplement the list with books that are right for their child’s age group, reading level, and attention span. The most important thing about summer reading is that it remains enjoyable. If a student views reading as purely academic they are more likely to procrastinate or allow their attention span to wander elsewhere. Moms can add any number of fun, silly, and engaging books to the teacher’s reading list. The important thing is that the child is reading something.

5. Create a math facts review sheet

Many students forget their math facts over the summer, leaving them behind when school starts up again in August. In decades past, most classroom teachers would review math facts and other important academic material during the first month of school to help children ease back into the year. However, these days more instructional minutes are spent preparing students for yearly standardized exams, leaving less time for review. Children who review their math facts over the summer are more likely to be on task in August. This can be done with Mom or with a tutor.

Robyn Scott is a private English tutor at TutorNerds of Orange County. She attended the University of California, Irvine as an undergraduate and the University of Southampton in England as a graduate student. She has worked with students from the United States, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and Africa.

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