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Want your middle grader to have successful start to the next school year?  Studies show that kids who practice reading, writing, math, and other skills over the summer have an easier time returning to school in the fall.

Help your child avoid the "summer learning slide" with these ideas:
  • Encourage your middle grader to read during the summer by striking a bargain.  For every book she finishes, she can watch the movie version.  Many terrific, age-appropriate books have been made into movies that are available at video stores or community libraries.
  • Watching nature is a great outdoor activity for keeping your child's research and observation skills sharp.  Suggest she identify the different trees in her neighborhood or community park using a library reference book.  Or have her set up a backyard birdbath and name the kinds of birds that visit.
  • A family trip, whether it's for a week or a day, can teach your middle grader a great deal.  That's because traveling involves geography (maps), math (distance, gas mileage), reading (travel guides, signs, menus), and science (climate, landscape).  Let your child help plan the trip.  She could research where to go and what to do when you get there.
Source: Middle Years; Resources for Educators, a division of Aspen Publishers, Inc. (c)2006