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Summer Activities for Kids Give an Academic Edge

June 1st, 2015

Time for Summer Activities for Kids…Get Your FREE BT Family Activity Book

Summer break is upon us. How do you keep your kids engaged over the summer? And is it important to keep your kids engaged and learning?

During summertime your kids are active but not necessarily hitting the books. Kids that don’t engage in any learning activities over the summer lose 2 1/2 months of the prior school year. Those that do, retain knowledge and gain an additional 3 months of academic skill.

summer activities for kids

Summer Activities for Kids Start with a Daily Schedule…

for summertime and school vacations…

Set up a daily time when your children are to do some reading or math work. I always had my kids spend 15 minutes after breakfast doing 2 – 3 pages in each workbook (one math and one reading) so they would have a little bit of content work and then have the rest of the day to do whatever they wanted to.

This gave them consistency and they knew they would have the rest of the day to play.

We use the daily and weekly calendars from Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills.

My favorite reading workbooks are the ‘Plaid’ Workbooks put out by Modern Curriculum Press. For first grade through 3rd grade they are ‘phonics’ workbooks. For 4th and above they are ‘word study’ books.

summer activities for kids, reading fluency, reading comprehension

Summer Activities for Kids Improves Reading Skills

After they were finished, or while they were working I would pull one of my kids aside and do the Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills with them so they would have 5 minutes of fluency training to improve their fluency over the summer. Doing this made it so within 20 minutes of breakfast each of my kids had worked for 15 minutes on their own and worked with me for 5 minutes on their reading fluency.

TIP:     Fluency training is one of the easiest and most important things a parent  can do to help their kids improve their reading skills.

 

Most Ignored and Should Be #1 Priority

Sally Shawitz, M. D. states in her book Overcoming Dyslexia, “I urge parents of dyslexic children [or any child] to make fluency training – repeated oral reading – their number one priority. Because it involves reinforcement rather than teaching a child a new concept, it is ideally suited for the home.”

Time Needed to Improve Fluency

Cecil Mercer, a researcher from the University of Florida, published his results from his study Effects of Fluency Intervention for Middle Schoolers with Specific Learning Disabilities in (2000) stating daily practice can be for as little as five or six minutes. Substantial gains in reading fluency came from repeated oral reading of various sorts such as letters or words for five or six minutes a day. The key to the success was doing the repeated oral reading over a period of time e.g. six months to twenty-three months.

summer activities for kids improve reading fluency

Five Year Study

And, Debra Wilson from Redding, California states, “We did a five year study using Bonnie Terry’s Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills and the reading fluency of kids in our school district improved dramatically.”

Summer Activities for Kids: Weekly Schedule

We get together as a family and decide where we want to go for our adventure…sometimes it would be an activity in the yard or around the block. Other times it would be a trip to the park, the pool, a museum, a historic site, or a factory.

On Fridays or over the weekend we’d take off for our adventure.

It is important to have your kids be part of the decision making on where you decide to go or what you decide to do. That way everyone got to at one time or another go where they wanted too.

Suggested Summer Activities for Kids

  1. Play Games
  2. Read together
  3. Learn to bake or cook meals together

Family Trips:

  1. The local zoo
  2. A pet store
  3. The local or regional park
  4. The roller rink
  5. The river or lake

Get your complimentary book: BT Family Activity Book with more than 80 Family Activities Here

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summer activities for kids