MILWAUKEE - With just a couple of weeks left in the school year, now is the time to prepare for summer. As the pandemic may have worsened the summer slide, the next several weeks are prime for catching up.
Just as playing and summer camps help stimulate the body, academic coach Judy Cohen says the brain needs to stay just as active.
"There are all kinds of activities you can do without having to enroll your child in summer school," said Cohen, owner of Lakeside Educational Services.
While Cohen got creative tutoring this year, she says parents need to do the same before the school year ends. She suggests speaking to your child's teacher.
Virtual learning, remote learning
"Asked them to prepare work that suits your child’s strengths and weaknesses, not just the packet the teacher sent home that you do or do not do during the summer but a packet that you and your child will work on together," said Cohen.
Next, read beyond the summer list.
"Find books that challenge your child that’s at their instructional level. Have a book club, invite three kids over, read the books together. As a parent in this book club, a child is responsible for formulating discussion questions, talking about the answers to those questions coming up with new questions, and reading aloud," said Cohen.
By only reading to themselves, Cohen says kids could miss a great deal of comprehension and themes.
"You read a paragraph, they read a paragraph and stuff and talk about ‘what does that word mean' because vocabulary building is imperative to a child's success," said Cohen.
Older kids should get novels and put a writing piece to it.
"After every chapter put a summarization after each chapter with a theme," said Cohen.
During those weeks off, the real test is staying positive and committed.
"When a parent takes this seriously, so does their child. The confidence level increases for a child that goes into the school for the fall," said Cohen.
Other enriching activities can include cooking, which helps with math and fractions. Cohen says, give your child a quote, have them break down what it means and how it can be applied to life and reward them for their hard work at the end of the summer.