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ARE YOU READY FOR SUMMER?
encourage your child to take up a hobby? Help them with a summer job and finance management. Or, take an educational trip as a family. From historical landmarks to ecological sites like fish hatcheries or wilderness preserves, summer is an excellent time to go on an adventure. Older kids may already have strong interests that they’d like to spend time on, and those three months of summer can be great for working on larger projects. If your teenager is a budding writer, why not have them spend some real time writing and see what comes out? Musically-minded kids might try writing and recording their own music to share online. Allowing them to have control over their output means they’ll stay interested, and requiring them to spend at least an hour a day on their interest ensures they’ll develop the work ethic that will carry ensure success later in life. Similarly, limiting screen time to an hour or so a day is a good way to encourage kids to get out of the house, or just away from the TVs, computers, and smartphones. Better yet, curate their content. If your kids are real Netflix-lovers, have them analyze three or four series and write a review, comparing and contrasting their strengths and weaknesses. Or, encourage your kids to broaden their video game horizons and write similar reviews. The fact is, there are many ways for kids to engage this summer. Challenge yours to have a fun — and educational — next three months.
Sometime in the next month, the last school bell will ring, signaling the start of summer vacation. For kids, it’s an exciting time of freedom, longer days, and progression into the next grade. For parents, it may seem like spring break was just a few days ago, and wasn’t winter break the week before that? Sure, you love having your kids around, but let’s be honest — it can be tough to keep those young minds occupied (and out of trouble) for three straight months. This struggle is compounded by the “summer slide,” which the Department of Education describes as learning lost “when children do not engage in educational activities during the summer months.” You don’t want your fourth-grader heading into the year knowing less than they did at the end of the third grade. Fortunately, there are many ways to combat the summer slide and keep kids’ idle hands (and minds) occupied this summer. The first step? Encourage reading. Sure, it may be easier to keep kids glued to the TV or gaming station. But the right book can be just as engaging as the latest digital entertainment, and it’s also a good way to keep comprehension and learning skills fresh when school is out. It’s also affordable — libraries are excellent places for getting everybody a book they’ll love, at no cost to you. Libraries are also hubs for diversity, welcoming people of all ages, ethnicities, and abilities. There, kids will encounter people from all walks of life — an education all its own. Summer can also be a great time to teach kids lessons they wouldn’t learn in school. Why not
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