I know I heard more than one “Woohoo! No more homework packets!” in carline last Wednesday as TLS kids headed home for the summer. Funny thing, it was mostly parents I overheard, not the kids. Believe me, I heard a teacher or two with the same shout of joy. Summer is a welcome sigh of relief for us all, but the business of education can’t stop just because school’s out. Don’t panic yet; notice there is no Summer Homework Packet attached. Instead, I hope to suggest ways that you can make learning fun for your children and help you sneak in a little summertime learning for your child.
I do have a homework assignment this summer but it is for you, the parents. It begins with you putting on a teacher hat, and thinking outside the box a bit to discover ways to engage your children in some learning fun, without them even knowing what’s happening. It may take a little effort on your part, but I have some ideas to get you started and will add more as the summer wiles away. Summer learning is for discovering a favorite author, for turning math into a game, for finding something new on a hike……..the list is endless. The bottom line – keep learning, but only if it’s fun! Summer learning happens as you make cookies together in the kitchen, send grandma a postcard, make s’mores in the summer sun, or create a grocery list together.
One idea I have to offer is the opportunity for your children to log reading minutes over the summer for Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge, which has a goal for kids across the globe to read for 98,951,140 minutes between May 4 and September 4. How fun to be part of a record-setting event! Just log onto http://www.scholastic.com/ups/campaigns/src-2015/parent and sign up your child. Its so easy! The site includes games, activities, a blog and even a book for you to print out for your child. Trinity has plans to recognize our most voracious readers when classes resume in August so sign up and start racking up those minutes. Maybe siblings can challenge each other, maybe Mom and Dad can offer a prize for each hour your child is engaged – be creative and have fun! Be sure to log in your minutes on Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge. Students in Kindergarten through Grade 2 already have Reading AtoZ/RAZ Kids log-in information to continue reading at their levels throughout the summer, and these minutes can be logged in to Scholastic.
Ask any 7th grader how much Dr. Brockberg loves IXL and you’ll get a laugh and a “Tons!” as a reply! IXL is available for all TLS students in grades 5 through 8 to use all summer with the same user names and passwords all summer. Children in grades K to 4 can log on and use IXL for a certain number of problems as often as they like but minutes will not be recorded. Choose your grade level and take 15 minutes twice a week to sharpen your child’s math skills. Again, Trinity will recognize our great problems solvers for the summer come August. Click on https://www.ixl.com/ for K-8 access.
Finally, your teachers and I love to know what your kids are up to this summer and we love to get real mail (the old-fashioned kind with a stamp?!). We would love to be inundated with post cards letting us know where your children are or what they have been up. Vacation postcards are great, but we’d also love to know about summer baseball, volleyball camp, a favorite book they have read, or who’ been visiting the family. Send us a postcard or two (or three) to the school office all summer long.
The Three R’s are as relevant today as ever, so any reading, writing and ‘rithmatic that you can sneak into your child’s day will go a long way towards their academic success. Don’t forget the bottom line – learn and have FUN!
Oh, there’s a fourth R I’m sure you fit in daily as well – religion. Say a prayer, go to worship, sing a song, sign up for VBS, do a random act of kindness and give thanks!