Don’t Lose It! Help your kids retain what they’ve learned throughout the summer months
By: Jennie Bradford Curlee
When the school doors fly open and the kids run out on the last day of school each May, it seems as though another year’s worth of knowledge flies out with them. While summer vacation is made for rest and relaxation from a hard year’s work, it is vital that parents make sure their kids don’t lose all of this valuable knowledge while class is no longer in session. Try these tips to keep your kids engaged this summer, and while they will definitely learn a thing or two, they will also have tons of fun.
Just Keep Reading
The U.S. Department of Education, in a study on the condition of education, found that the more students read for fun on their own time, the higher their reading scores. Encourage your kids to read for a minimum of twenty minutes each day. Find creative ways to inspire their love for reading by offering small prizes, special treats, or other incentives that your child enjoys. The Lee County Library offers a summer reading program for area students to promote literacy throughout the summer months. Kids will enjoy exploring the library and checking out their own books.
Sharpen Your Math Skills
Help keep your child’s math skills sharp this summer by involving them in activities that will hone those skills. Going to the grocery store? Give your child five dollars and ask him to figure out what he can buy for that amount. Cooking supper for the family? Let your children assist by measuring and figuring out what amounts to use for the number of people being fed. Learning new math equations can be as simple as writing them on the bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker and quizzing your kids throughout the day. Math is all around us and can easily be worked into conversations with your children.
Go Back to the Past
Summer creates the perfect opportunity to make history come alive for your family. Rather than just reading about it in books or online, take your kids to see where it happened. Many decisive battles in the Civil War were fought in Northeast Mississippi, and are well documented for visitors. Mississippi’s Final Stands Interpretive Center holds living history days each summer and is a great place to start when researching area battles.
Ok, so most kids have no problem stepping back into physical education classes, but why not incorporate a little learning into your family’s physical activity this summer? The Natchez Trace Parkway spans 444-miles from Nashville, TN, to Natchez, MS, and is headquartered in Tupelo. Whether hiking its trails walked by Native Americans over 8,000 years ago or exploring the flora and fauna that lie along this scenic byway, the Natchez Trace is the perfect learning tool in our own backyard. Got bicycles? Learn a bit about Tupelo’s favorite native son and get some exercise by exploring the Elvis’ Tupelo Self-Guided Bicycle Tour that includes 13 stops that were influential in Elvis Presley’s life growing up in Tupelo.
Try one or two of these tips to help keep your kids on track for the new school year. It will be here before you know it.
Jennie Bradford Curlee is the public relations and international sales director for the Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau. She loves reading with her son all year long and sharing her love for history with him through travel.