School is nearly out!  Before wiggling your toes in the sand, commit to making your child's summer break learning-rich.  Whether you're hitting the beach, the slopes or the pool use down-time to reinforce learning.  Here's how:

  • Bring a favorite lesson to life.  What was the coolest thing your child learned about in school this year?  Was it the physics behind space flight?  Visit a planetarium or stargaze together.  Was it the hardships faced by explores?  Go on a nature hike with your child.  Break a sweat in the name of hand-on learning.
  •  Focus on math.  Summer is the perfect time to show your child how useful his math skills can be.  If you're planning a vacation, have him figure out how much spending money he'll have each day.  (We'll be gone for three days, and you have $40.  What's your daily budget?) If you're staying home, ask him to draw up the family's weekly food budget. On nights you eat out, have him calculate the waiter's tip. 

Whatever you do, try to keep your summertime lesson light, fun and practical.  It's important to reinforce his knowledge, but it's also important to give him some "chill out" time!
Source: The Parent Institute, a division of NIS Inc.(c) 2006