How to Make Summer School a Success
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Connect with the teacher.
Small classes provide opportunities for individualized instruction and a more intimate setting for learning. "Get to know your child's educators, and talk to the summer instructor about your child's progress -- and work with them on setting goals," says Pappert. Working along with teachers can help alleviate some of the stresses of summer school. If your child is struggling in a certain content area, you should discuss how you could provide extra help to reinforce learning at home.
Ask your child what she is learning in school, not about test grades. Have her teach you what she learned in school that day. Putting the lesson into your child's own words will help her retain the information and hey, you might learn something too (the seemingly always new "new math," anyone?).
Beat the heat.
Hot and muggy days can make us all feel sluggish. You can help your child battle the draining heat by packing lighter meals and snacks. Some suggestions are fresh fruits like watermelon and apple slices, and vegetables such as carrot and celery sticks. To keep her hydrated while her brain is at work, stash a cold bottle of water or juice in your child's bag. Of course, make sure to check the school's policy of snacks in the classroom before packing a brown bag.
Sneak in study time.
You can work along with your child's teacher to come up with creative ideas to incorporate learning into summer time activities. Sneak in study time at the beach or even around the big city. "New York City is a great place for enriching activities," says Pappert. "There are so many opportunities to incorporate learning into a fun day." She suggests exploring some of New York's historic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Governor's Island. A simple summer learning game to play while at the beach, park, or even your own backyard is beach ball vocabulary toss: Write key vocabulary words on a beach ball, toss around with your child, and have him define the word closest to his left thumb.
All work, no play?
Summer school does not have to take up all of your child's time -- nor should it. Play time is still very important. Allocate time for activities with friends and plan special trips to the amusement park, beach, or zoo. Planning an activity after a big test or completion of an assignment could be a good mid-week push. Don't forget to mark them on your calendar!