Some years ago my husband read Outliers: the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. In this book much was explored about achievement and what creates success in schooling, professions, sports and beyond. There was a portion of the book my husband shared with me that I immediately read. What I learned in those few pages has always stayed with me. Mr. Gladwell dissected the discrepancies in students' success based on how involved they were in academic functions during their summer breaks. Statistical data was able to prove that there was a lifelong connection to success for students who continued their studies into summer months.
Sadly, it was also concluded that inner city students lost most of their grade level proficiency while in contrast to their middle-to-upper class counterparts who often times remained more engaged in academics over extended school breaks. I grew up in the inner city and remember very clearly going on summer vacation and not once picking up a book to read or completing a set of math problems.
However, I'd like to believe this isn't a matter of "those who have" and "those who have less." This is a matter of education, for all. ALL students regardless of socio-economic status have a chance at success should they do one simple thing: continue to work on math, reading and/or writing while on summer break.
|Original Art Work by Co-Author (a.k.a my kid)|
School, A+ & Hotel = Summer Vacation & Learning
Another note encouraged parents to do the following this summer:
- Read to your child at a level that fits their current proficiency (visit www.arbookfind.com to find book levels). Independent readers should visit the library and pick some fun books for summer reading.
- Ask your child(ren) to keep a summer journal and encourage consistent writing.
- Join reading clubs/programs at your local library.
- Use flashcards for drills (i.e my son who is entering the second grade is working on sight words, but anything can go on flashcards: i.e. times tables, science terms, geography, etc.).
Over the summertime find fun ways to include kids in learning and academics. Think science projects at the beach or math problems while cooking a homemade meal (great for kids learning measurements). For instance, this blog post is being co-written and proof-read by my soon-to-be 2nd grader and he's having a blast. In fact, he'd like to add the following: summer rules!
With that said, there's plenty of time this summer to incorporate fun learning into your child's day-to-day. Check out these free academic sites:
- www.chesskid.com (We've played a lot of chess this summer which is great for critical thinking, in fact, my son who was in chess club as a kindergartner actually taught me how to play).
How do you make academics fun?
Share your tips!