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A Summer of Fun + Learning = Improved Academic Skills


Sylvan Learning of Wasilla provides helpful tips for parents

Wasilla, AK (Grassroots Newswire) May 26, 2010 - Summer is almost here and
for most kids it means leaving behind classes and homework. But, according
to Dr. James May of Sylvan Learning located in Wasilla, summer should not
be a learning-free time for kids.

The National Center for Summer Learning states, "Most students lose about
two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills
over summer months." May cautions that even the best students forget
lessons they have learned during the school year. And that means that
summer should not be an excuse to put kids' brains on hiatus—in fact, it's
the perfect time for a different kind of learning.

Parents can play a key role in reinforcing learning on an ongoing basis.
May suggests the following tips for parents to ensure that summer time is
a good balance of free discovery, play, leisure and learning for our kids.

Summer Math Tips for Kids: We're surrounded by words and numbers every
day. Here are a few ideas for summer math learning which can be adapted to
a family's needs:

* Grocery store math. Counting, estimating, and making change are good
math exercises. What can we get for $10.00? Will you count the change
for me, please? Let me know when we've reached fifteen items in the cart,
* Kitchen math. Practice fractions by using recipes or reading cookbooks.
Practice numbers by counting the cutlery needed for dinner. Measuring
ingredients is a perfect math lesson. Don't tell them, though.
* Money math. Teach about making change. Count change in a piggy bank.
How many ways can I make 45 cents? Open a savings account and watch the
amount rise with deposits and interest. Talk about the advantages of
saving for a big purchase or for a rainy day.
* Calendar math. Count down the days to special events like the first day
of school, birthdays, holidays, vacations, assignments, and appointments.
* Game math. Use cards, dominoes or dice ("math cubes") to reinforce
counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division skills. Play
Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, and other games that encourage counting.
Together, do the Sudoku puzzles in the daily paper.
* Beach math. Count starfish, seashells, umbrellas, pizza joints, flip
flops and beach balls. Or, dig holes, then encourage kids to fill
one-quarter, one-half, three-quarters with water or seashells. Or, draw
geometric shapes in the sand – circles, squares, rectangles, triangles –
and identify them.

Summer Reading: Reading is an adventure that begins early in a child's
life and should extend beyond the classroom. Summer months are the perfect
time to make reading fun and inspire children to develop a lifelong
friendship with books. Here are some tips that parents can use this

* Offer a variety of publications (magazines, newsletters, books, etc.) so
kids can make their own literary choices. Keep books in each car, at the
house, at the homes of family members, etc Availability is key.
* Encourage your kids to read everything and read aloud, such as food
labels, movie disclaimers, street signs, store names, music lyrics, and
restaurant menus.
* Schedule "library time." Just as a family schedules swimming practice,
set a specific time aside for visiting the library.
* Create a book-on-tape. Encourage your child to read a book aloud and
tape it. As a special gift or surprise, send the book-on-tape to a loved
one with a special message.
* Read before bedtime. Reading is relaxing. Allow your child to stay up
15 minutes later each night – as long as he/she is reading.
* Read aloud to your children. No matter the age of the child, reading
together can create a lasting family memory.

Summer Writing Tips: Summer writing can be fun, expressive, and
skill-building. Give your child the confidence to be ready for school in
the fall, and help her teacher get right down to business without spending
precious time reviewing skills kids have forgotten in the summer. Here are
some ideas to keep your kids writing this summer.

* Collect interesting, amusing, thought-provoking summer pictures from
magazines, the Internet, or your own family albums. "Prompt" your
children with ideas about writing, like a favorite summer memory or a poem
about summer fun.
* Go to www.bookadventure.com for cool reading ideas, and then write about
the books and stories you’ve read together. Don’t call this a “book
report,” even if that’s what it really is.
* Keep a family photo journal and have the children write captions for the
pictures or a short story summary. A variation of this is to keep a
summer scrapbook with pictures and memorabilia of your favorite things.
* Keep a personal or family “summer things I notice” journal. Every once
in a while, everyone in the family contributes a short piece of
descriptive writing, a drawing, a favorite poem or an original one,
favorite memories, interesting observations, etc. Watch the journal grow.
* Yes, even in an electronic age, kids love getting letters in the mail.
Help your child have a pen-pal and keep up a correspondence for the summer
and beyond.

To help, Sylvan Learning located in Wasilla is offering a free online
Summer Fun & Learning Guide for Parents. The entire family can enjoy
grade-specific activities that nurture reading, writing and math skills.
Families can visit the "Parent Resources" area of www.SylvanLearning.com
and download or print the booklet that keeps children learning all summer
long while still enjoying trips to the beach, summer camp, swimming and
outdoor playtime.

For additional educational resources for children in grades pre-K through
12, please visit www.SylvanLearning.com or call 1-800-31-SUCCESS. Or, for
additional information, please contact Sylvan Learning located in Wasilla
at (907) 357-7323.

About Sylvan Learning
Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of tutoring to students of all
ages, grades and skill levels. With 30 years of experience and more than
900 centers located throughout North America, Sylvan’s proven process and
personalized methods have inspired more than 2 million students to
discover the joy of learning. Sylvan's trained and Sylvan-certified
personal instructors provide individual instruction in reading, writing,
mathematics, study skills and test-prep for college entrance and state
exams. Sylvan helps kids develop the skills, habits and attitudes needed
for lifelong success. Visit www.DrRickBlog.com to share your personal
academic experiences and comment on academic trends. For more
information, call 1-800-31-SUCCESS or visit www.SylvanLearning.com.
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