The phrase “use it or lose it” may describe the way many students deal with new information. Experts say that within 24 to 48 hours after learning new concepts, students often begin to forget information.
Although a vacation from school is great for recharging your children’s batteries, it can often offset the learning process.
The good news is that it may be easier than you think to reinforce learning activities. According to Dr. Richard E. Bavaria, Ph.D. and vice president of Sylvan Learning Center, “School breaks are an important time for parents to share in everyday learning activities with their children to enhance math, reading, writing and study skills development.”
The following tips are fun ways to help your child continue to learn while away from school:
• Attend academic camps. To make the most of school breaks, look for camps that provide an academic focus. Programs should offer a broad selection of courses built to suit individual needs while targeting specific subjects and offering a small group environment. Look for programs with experience teaching children the same age as your child and flexibility in scheduling.
• Write a story. Encourage your child to keep a daily journal or write letters to family members to communicate weekly highlights. Encourage your child to read his or her writings aloud.
• Create a budget. Ask your child to assist in the creation of a grocery budget. This will help develop math skills and allow children to plan for “extras” that they might want during their break.
• Play a game. Board games and puzzles are not only fun, but encourage the development of analysis and logic skills. Play together as a family to double the fun.
• Take a trip to the library. Local libraries offer resources for families and many offer free children’s programs and clubs. Librarians can also help parents find books that are appropriate for your child’s reading level.
• Explore the Internet. There are many sites that provide educational enrichment for children and can motivate students to study more often and for longer periods of time. For instance, visit www.bookadventure.org to create personalized book lists from more than 7,000 recommended titles.